Chef Essig's Featured Item of the Week

Home For The Holidays Special Dinner 2012

Each year Dining Services celebrates the holiday season by offering a special menu to the campus community, and this year is no exception. We would like to invite you to join us at our "Home for the Holidays" special dinner on Wednesday, December 5th. This is an opportunity for us to feature some American regional cuisine and show off a little bit of all that the US has to offer. If you are not sure what American regional cuisine is, then this is your opportunity to learn a little about the unique flavors, ingredients, and cooking styles that boil up in culinary hot spots across the United States. See the 2012 menu at the bottom of the page.

Be sure to come early to avoid the lines that form around our most popular event of the year. If you do find yourself waiting for a table, don't worry... we will be serving some international inspired appetizers to welcome you into the dining room. We realize that the United States is not home to all of the UNC community, but no matter where you call home, we know you will find something fantastic to celebrate the season. Come in out of the cold and enjoy some Spanish Shrimp Tapas, Asian Potstickers, Italian Bruchettas, and Swedish Meatballs and Cheeses.

If you still have a chill when you come in the dining room, stop by the Wok 'n Roll station and grab a cup of hot chocolate, egg nog, or hot apple cider. Enjoy your cup of cheer as you decide what to choose from this year's special menu.

We start off by offering up two West Coast inspired soups: Seafood Cioppino and Washington Onion and Mushroom Chowder. This style of Cioppino is associated with the San Francisco Wharf area where it includes fresh seafood in a light tomato broth and is served with San Francisco style Sourdough Bread. Cioppino originated in the Italian port city of Genoa where fisherman would make fresh seafood stews from their catch of the day, often while out to sea. When those same fishermen immigrated to the US and settled in the San Francisco area, they continued to make the traditional dish, but it changed slightly through the years to contain less tomato and to use more of a delicate cooking process.

Feel like a nice salad to accompany your meal? We are featuring salads from the Midwest including Michigan Apple Cherry Salad, Huskers Corn Salad, and Fresh Greens with Maytag Blue Cheese with Glazed Walnuts and Cranberries. The Maytag Cheese Company is located in Newton, Iowa. It was founded in 1941 and is considered by many chefs and cheese aficionados to be one of the world's best blue cheeses. If the name Maytag sounds familiar, you are correct. The family that founded Maytag appliances is the same family who started the cheese company. It's not far off the interstate, so if you are ever driving through Iowa and want to take a tour, it makes a nice side trip to learn about the process and see the caves where they age the wheels.

You don't have to visit the Midwest to get a flavor of what American Regional Cuisine is though. We have a lot happening right here in Colorado when it comes to food… even right here in Weld County. Weld County is actually number one in Colorado when it comes to agricultural sales. We produce beans, potatoes, beef, eggs, flours, sugar beets, onions, cheeses, and so much more. At The DASH we will feature a Colorado menu of Palisade Red Wine Braised Elk with Colorado Fingerling Potatoes and Roasted Winter Vegetable Medley.

At last year's Holiday Dinner, we featured a student favorite: Mac and Cheese enhanced with a little lump crab. This was the most popular entrée of the whole dinner. So how could we improve on a favorite? We added lobster!! Come try out the tribute to the east coast (especially Maine and Vermont) and try the Lobster Mac and Cheese with Clam Strips and sautéed Broccoli.

The best example of American regional foods would be the Gulf Coast area. When you go to a state like Louisiana for example, certain foods come to mind. We wanted to offer some of those foods to you this year. You can try some Chicken Andouille Gumbo or how about some Alligator Etouffee. Etouffee is a typical and popular Cajun dish of seafood that is smothered and cooked with vegetables similar to a stew. With these you can add some Barq's Glazed Ham. Barq's Root Beer started in the French Quarter in 1890. You will also find Crawfish Beignets (fritters), Dirty Rice (not really dirty just littered with flavor), and Praline Sweet Potatoes.

If you still haven't found something that appeals to your taste buds, then head over to the grille area. We will be spicing it up with some flavors of New Mexico. Roasted Chicken Legs served with Green Chile, Pork Red Chile, Chipotle Mashed Potatoes, and hot-off- the-grill Tortillas.

For dessert we thought it would be nice to think of the warmer parts of the US this time of year and bring some flavors in from the tropics. We have Key Lime Pies, Hawaiian Pineapple Upside Down Cakes, Tropical Fruit Panna Cotta, and many more sweets to tempt your sweet tooth.

No matter where you are from, you probably have a special dish or a special meal that reminds you of home. We hope that in our menu this year you may find something that brings you back or maybe even creates a new feeling of holiday spirit, as you are home for the holidays here at UNC.

Happy Holidays from your friends in Dining Services!

2012 MENU: Home For The Holidays featuring All-American cuisine

Dining Services would like to invite you to join us for the 2012 Home For The Holidays special dinner, featuring All-American cuisine on Wednesday, December 5th. Here is what you will enjoy...

  • Appetizers ~ International: Assorted Italian Bruschetta, Swedish Meatballs, Spanish Shrimp Tapa, Danish Blue Cheese, Toasts w/ Cubed Cheese & Crackers, Pacific Rim PotstickersSoup ~ West Coast: Cioppino w/ Garlic Toast Points, Washington Onion & Mushroom Chowder, San Francisco Sourdough Bread
  • Salad Bar ~ Midwest: Michigan Creamy Apple Cherry Salad, Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad, Autumn Coleslaw w/ Horseradish, Huskers Corn Salad, Amish Blue Cheese & Glazed Walnut Salad
  • Home Plate ~ Gulf Coast: Barq's Root Beer Glazed Carved Ham, Chicken Andouille Gumbo, Alligator & Shrimp Etouffee, Crawfish Beignets, Dirty Rice, Praline Baked Sweet Potatoes, Creole Zucchini, Potato Latkes w/ Applesauce
  • Pasta ~ Maine/Vermont: Lobster Macaroni & Cheese, Vermont Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese, Clam Strips, Broccolini and Red Peppers
  • Wok 'n Roll ~ Cup of Cheer: Hot Chocolate Station w/ Toppings, Hot Cider, Egg Nog
  • The DASH - Colorado: Elk Braised with Colorado Beer, Colorado Roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Root Vegetable Medley w/ Red Cabbage
  • The Grille ~ New Mexico: Roasted Chicken Drums, Vegetarian Green Chili, Pork Green Chili, Chipotle Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, Hot Off The Grille Tortillas
  • Desserts ~ Sweet Island Home: Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes, Orange Poppy Seed Cake, Key Lime Mini Tartlets, Tropical Fruit Panna Cotta, Dark Chocolate Coconut Mousse, Holiday Cookies, Sweet Kugel


Chef EssigHappy Dining from Executive Chef Essig!

Chef Aran Essig, CEC, CCA
(Certified Executive Chef, Certified Culinary Administrator)

Hungry and not sure where to eat? We can help you decide... check out the weekly menus often to see what each dining room is serving. You can also call the FoodLine (970.351.FOOD) for daily menus. Students living in the residence halls can access weekly menus on the VOIP phones in their rooms.

Students: add meals and/or Dining Dollars to your UNC Card

Faculty/Staff: sign up for the payroll deduction program

Have questions, comments, or suggestions?? Email us at