Decades ago, Pat and her colleagues at UGA Food Services had a problem -- what to do in the interval between the students' departure and the official beginning of the holiday break in December. It seemed a waste of the award-winning staff simply to keep everyone busy scrubbing and polishing. And plenty of folks, eager to get on with the celebrating or to get a respite from the monotony of grading, remained on campus. What Pat and her colleagues came up with has become a wonderful UGA tradition -- A Cook's Holiday. Rather than standing down, the staff would gear up, transforming one of the dining areas from the usual red and black to a festive red and green, sprinkled with tinsel. Chefs would don their dress whites and prepare a cornucopia of holiday delights, from sliced ham to golden yams. And the desserts!
Pat, Ian, and I made our way to the 2008 edition of A Cook's Holiday yesterday at the Summit. We meandered among the crisp linen islands of entrees and vegetables and breads, offering our plates to one chef and then another for a slice of this and a heavenly spoonful of that. We ate to the harmony of the four UGA string students who are the talented B.R.A.H.M.S. Quartet. And we made the obligatory trip to the dessert tables, clustered around a swiftly flowing chocolate fountain.
If I were you, I'd mark my calendar right now. Flip to December 2009. Type in "A Cook's Holiday!"
I've posted some of my photographs from the event. I hope you enjoy them. -- Bob Brussack