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Dayton House hosting 10th Valentine's dinner

Dessert chef Connie Voss (from left), dinner chairperson Mary Huls, Troy Wietzema of W-2’s Quality Meats and Hy-Vee kitchen manager Kim Rogers stand in the kitchen of the Historic Dayton House in Worthington. (ERIN TRESTER/DAILY GLOBE)

WORTHINGTON — The Historic Dayton House is aiming to “Make Someone Happy” with its annual Valentine’s Dinner.

The two-night event will be on Feb. 15 and 16, with doors opening at 6 p.m. and dinner being served at 6:30 each night.

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“We wanted to keep the ‘Make Someone Happy’ theme again this year because that’s what Valentine’s Day is all about,” said Mary Huls, chairperson for the dinner.

The main course will once again be from Troy Wietzema of W-2’s Quality Meats.

“This year for the main course I’ll be serving a choice of prime rib or chicken cordon bleu,” Wietzema said.

This is the third year the Dayton House has hosted celebrity chefs preparing the meal.

Wietzema, who has prepared the main course as a celebrity chef for each of those three years, said it’s something that takes a lot of preparation.

“I started planning for this year’s main course last year,” he said, laughing. “It’s always worth it, though, and it’s a great event.”

The Dayton House staff will also be making a portion of the meal, contributing a roasted vegetable dish.

“We decided to have the house staff cook a portion of the meal,” Huls said. “I think it brings something different to the dinner this year.”

Hy-Vee will be contributing two different parts for the meal.

“We’re doing a fresh strawberry salad with a poppy seed vinaigrette dressing,” said Kim Rogers, the store’s kitchen manager. “We’re also doing our twice-baked potatoes — it was such a big hit last year we wanted to do it again.”

The bread for the meal will come from Panaderia Mi Tierra Bakery, while the dessert will be whipped up by Connie Voss.

“I named the dessert Chocolate and Berries Delight,” Voss said. “I think chocolate strawberries are just a classic Valentine’s dessert.”

This is the 10th annual Valentine’s dinner, and the coveted celebrity chefs agree it’s always a surprise at how many people from all over attend.

“We get people from George to Rock Rapids, so it’s not just people from Worthington attending,” Wietzema said. “I think it’s really special that Worthington has this historic house that people from all over can come to and enjoy.”

Voss noted how every year the dinner seems to go off without a hitch.

“The kitchen is pretty small especially when we have all the cooks and staff in there, but things always run so smoothly and everything is so well organized,” she said.

Each night will have space for 80 guests, and reservations are filling up.

“It’s not always couples that attend the dinner,” Huls explained. “Friends come as a group, and we’ve even hosted groups as large as 10.”

The meal will be served by members of different community organizations.

“We get volunteers from the Worthington High School Honor Society, the Dayton House Board and anyone else who is interested in volunteering,” Huls said. “We are still looking for volunteers for this year’s dinner.”

Guests will also have a variety of seating options, from an intimate setting for two in the upstairs portion of the house to a table set for as large as 10 for friends to gather in the main floor of the house.

All proceeds from tickets go toward the Historic Dayton House.

“This dinner is meant to be very romantic and elegant, and it’s a great way for our town to showcase the house,” Huls said. “Especially for people who have never seen the inside of the house before, it’s a great place for people gather and have a great evening.”

For reservations, call the Dayton House at 727-1311.

Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.

Erin Trester
Erin Trester is the crime and city reporter for the Daily Globe. She's a native of Lewiston, MN, but moved to Buffalo, NY to attend college and obtained her bachelor's degree in Communications. She started at the Western New York Catholic Newspaper as a reporter in Buffalo, but in October 2013 she returned to her home state to start with the Daily Globe. Most of her spare time is taken up by her 13-year-old thoroughbred named Faith, but some of her other hobbies include reading, fishing and spending time with friends and family. 
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