Campus News

Food Services dishes up its annual Taste of Home

Before Mike Floyd's promotion to associate vice president for auxiliary services this summer

On Dec. 7, the four ­dining halls across campus will offer up the 18th serving of its annual “Taste of Home” event.

Open to meal-plan participants as well as faculty and staff, “A Taste of Home” features recipes submitted from students’ parents and relatives as well as UGA employees. The recipes have been “super-sized” or converted to feed the large quantity of dining hall patrons.

Originally called “A Tribute to Mother’s Day,” the family-themed dining experience began at UGA after Michael Floyd, Food Services director, visited another campus which offered a similar dining event.

“I wanted to re-create the idea at UGA but asked myself what we could do to make it even more special,” Floyd says. “That’s when we decided to feature different recipes in each of the dining halls on campus and present a commemorative dinner plate to the recipients of the winning recipes.”

Planning for “A Taste of Home” doesn’t start in the kitchen.

Anywhere from 450 to 600 recipes are submitted each year, and the management team and culinary staff supervise the selection process. The foods are sorted into groups and from there a menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner is assembled.

“We look for those unique recipes easy to convert to an ­institutional-sized recipe,” Floyd says. “We want a recipe that really says, ‘This is from someone’s parents.’ ”

After the recipes are selected, they are then tested and entered into a computerized food production system. This program expands the serving size from the usual eight-to ten serving size to one large enough for 7,000, which is enough to feed students, staff and faculty.

Each of the four dining halls-Snelling, Bolton, Oglethorpe and the Village Summit-will feature a different menu on the day of the event. Breakfast is $6.35, lunch $8 and dinner $11.

Among the 120 recipes featured this year are Shrimp Feta, Okra-fried Rice, Great Grandma Mil’s Cheesy Potatoes and Coconut-Sour Cream Layer Cake.

The selected recipes often become a permanent addition to the dining hall menus, according to Floyd.

“A Taste of Home allows parents to become part of the UGA family,” he says. “Sharing recipes creates a bond between parents and the institution, which makes this event a very unique experience and shows that we care for our customers.”