Chef Essig's Featured Item of the Week = Taste of Home

Taste of Home

The experience of University life is exciting, but it can also be stressful for many new students who are away from home for the first time. Days filled with new learning opportunities, friends, and surroundings can create a new sense of independence. But there are often times that the rush of new experiences can lead to a longing for home. That is one of the many reasons why Dining Services offers the "Taste of Home" program each November.

How did this program get started?

The Taste of Home program began in the mid 1980's when Carole Davis, then Director of Dining Services, attended a National Association of College and University Food Service (NACUFS) conference where an award was given to a university for implementing a similar program. Carole brought this idea back to UNC, and the Taste of Home tradition has been around for over over 20 years now.

Providing Students a "Taste of Home"

These days, we start working on the Taste of Home program long before the students are even thinking about being homesick. We start assembling information and begin planning during June and July. During September, Dining Services sends out postcards to these same parents asking them to share their student's favorite recipes. This year we received over 100 recipes in a just over 2 weeks. The Dining Services team reviewed the list of recipes, and 40+ recipes were selected to be prepared in Holmes Dining Hall, Tobey-Kendel Dining Room, and the University Center Food Court during Wednesdays in November.

Towards the end of October, a congratulations letter is sent to the parents and students whose recipes will be featured, and a special invitation is extended for them to to join us during the Taste of Home event. This is often an exciting experience for parents (and students) to see their favorite recipe prepared for hundreds of people.

How can You Sample these Featured recipes?

The 40+ recipes that were selected will be prepared by Dining Services cooks during lunch and dinner at the dining locations mentioned earlier. Customers are encouraged to sample each dish and vote for their favorites. The recipes that receive the most votes are evaluated to see if they could be added to the Spring menus. These featured recipes often become a regular part of the menus offered by Dining Services, and many are customer favorites which are requested again and again.

"Comfort Food" has a very different meaning now than it did in the past. There are many diverse cultures and backgrounds represented here at UNC, each having their own reference to memories of childhood and foods that bring them a sense of comfort and memories of home. We encourage everyone to visit the dining rooms in the weeks to come to sample the flavors of our student’s diverse backgrounds. Vote for your favorites and let us know which ones you would like to see again. We appreciate all the efforts of the parents who participate in this program and share their personal “Taste of Home.”

How can You get one of the recipes?

Once the recipes have been logged into our database, all recipes are entered into the “Taste of Home Recipe Book.” The 2010 recipe book will be available by the end of November for anyone to download it. Don't forget to stop by "the archives" which have recipes from the past few years.

Join us for taste of home on Wednesdays in November

Join us for lunch or dinner at Holmes or TK & lunch at the UC Food Court to participate in the 2010 Taste of Home program. We are very proud of this program, and we'd like to share it with you! Click here to see a schedule of Taste of Home recipes.

Wednesdays in November = 3rd, 10th, and 17th

  • Lunch and Dinner @ Tobey-Kendel Dining Room and Holmes Dining Hall
  • Lunch @ the University Center Food Court

We hope you enjoy these Taste of Home recipes!

Chef Aran Essig, CEC, CCA

Bon Apetit! 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.