Chef Essig's Featured Item of the Week = Holiday Dinner

2010 Holiday Dinner

Dining Services celebrates the holiday season every year by offering a special menu to the campus community. It's hard to believe, but planning for this special dinner starts in May... yes, in May! The first thing do is brainstorm ideas for what the theme should be. This year we are inviting you to join us at the "Red Carpet Holiday Dinner." I created the menu as a way to "roll out the red carpet" for our guests and have fun associating food with some of our favorite movies.

Our annual holiday dinner has become a very popular event for the students, faculty, and staff here at UNC, as well as our friends in the surrounding Greeley community. Historically, the holiday dinner is by far the busiest dinner of the entire year at both Tobey-Kendel Dining Room and Holmes Dining Hall. You definitely don't want to miss out on the great food, but come early to avoid the lines! If you do find yourself waiting in line, don’t worry. This year, our appetizers are associated with the movie “Julie & Julia.” Items such as Mini Beef Wellington, Creamy Lobster Toast, Artichoke Dip, and Baked Brie will start the meal off right... don't save the duck until last like Julia did... we will be offering it first in the form of Duck Spring Rolls.

Depending on what the weather looks like, you may get chilled on your walk to the dining room. We have a hot cocoa station that will warm you up in no time! This is also a great opportunity for the "chocoholics" to make their own hot cocoa creation. Customize yours with mint, peppermint, caramel, raspberry, chili, and cinnamon flavorings. Don't forget to top your hot cocoa with white chocolate, marshmallows, and whipped cream as you warm up at the “Like Water for Chocolate” themed station. If the hot chocolate didn’t warm you up, try some Queso Chile or Pork and Green Chile Soup as we recognize the movie “Tortilla Soup.”

After you warm up, take a stroll around the dining room and check out the selection of entrees being offered. At our Prima Pasta station, you will find spaghetti accompanied by HUGE meatballs. Some dishes are classics, just like the movie "Lady and the Tramp." Then, heed the call as you hear “Come on in, the water is fine.” -- at least now it is because we caught him and are serving him up... JAWS that is! You can try some Grilled Shark with Pineapple Pepper Salsa at The DASH line. If super heroes (rather than super fish) are more your style, then power up on some iron at The Grille station where we are offering "Iron Man" steaks. Enjoy a 6oz marinated flat iron steak served with "super sized" baked potatoes.

If you are looking for something a little different but are still in the mood for some comfort food, then give the Chicken and Waffles a try. This is a southern tradition were a common Sunday breakfast would consist of fried Chicken and Waffles to help sustain a person through potentially long church services. Later on the tradition made its way out west to Los Angeles where the late night scene (who ended their night too late for dinner but too early for breakfast) found this combination the perfect fit. In this case, we are hoping you enjoy it as we recognize the movie “Shrek” and Donkey’s love of Waffles. Fiona’s fried chicken's not bad either...

Our Bakers are busy this year creating breads inspired by "Alice in Wonderland." We will be having Bread and Butterflies you know, as well as desserts inspired by the book series and movie "Twilight." Who can resist New Moon Cheesecake or Bella’s Apple Strudel?

We hope you are able to join us an enjoy some of these items (and many more) as we celebrate this year’s Red Carpet Holiday. See you there!

We wish you Happy Holidays and hope you enjoy this year’s menu!

Chef Aran Essig, CEC, CCA

Executive Chef Aran Essig, CEC, CCA

Want to know what's being served in the dining rooms? Call the FoodLine (970.351.FOOD) for daily menus or look at our weekly menus online. Not signed up for the Faculty Staff Payroll Deduction program yet? Learn more about the program here.