Campus News

Luncheon celebrates 25 years

Gingerbread house-V.DiningHall
A Cook's Holiday is a lunch buffet that features festive decorations including gingerbread houses.

“A Cook’s Holiday,” the annual luncheon hosted by Food Services, will observe its 25th anniversary Dec. 15-16  from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Village Summit in Joe Frank Harris Commons on East Campus.

The meal will feature traditional holiday-inspired foods: black-oak ham, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, sweet potato soufflé, corn bread dressing, Southern-style collard greens, corn bread and warm apple cider.

The buffet-style meal also will include an assortment of salads, entrees, side dishes, breads and beverages. There also is a dessert buffet with chocolate fountains.

The dining commons will be decorated for the holidays, and Allegro Quartet will perform classical music and holiday favorites.

“This year our theme is centered around nutcrackers,” said Susan Van Gigch, assistant director of retail services. “We continue to expand the decorations. Being the 25th annual Cook’s Holiday, we have added silver touches to the décor. The favorite 6-foot-tall gingerbread house will be there again this year.  It is going through a remodel and will be more grand. New this year, we will have a coat check located under the staircase for the convenience of our customers. The menu has all the yearly favorites with a few new desserts added this year: carrot cake and lemon-raspberry petit fours.” 

Jerry Anthony, director of the business office for the dean of students, has attended more than 20 of the luncheons. The event started in the Tate Student Center in 1986, and since it was across from Anthony’s office, he’d go for lunch.

“We’d watch the crowd and go before the lines got too long,” said Anthony who remembers the event when the university was on the quarter system and it was held on multiple days, with different menus.

“Some years I would go more than once,” he said. “They had different menus, and you could go a couple of times and not eat the same thing.”

After the event was condensed to two days and then in 2004 moved to East Campus, Anthony kept going.

“It’s a university tradition,” he said. “I think people really look forward to it. It’s close by and parking is convenient.”

He also said that it’s a fun way for departments to thank their staffs for their work during the year.  Anthony takes his staff of 14—the UGACard office, information technology, accounting, computer support and an administrative assistant—to the luncheon.

“It is a great way to get into the holiday spirit,” he said.“ The food is delicious and very reasonably priced, and I see a lot of people whenever I go—some people who have retired and people I talk to on the phone and don’t see very often. We get so busy and stuck in our offices, that’s it’s nice to be able to get out and socialize.”

But what does Anthony look forward to most?

“Although the menu is varied and very nice, I look forward to the dessert selections,” he said. “I gain a pound or two just looking at all of the deserts.”

The luncheon is open to the community. Tickets are $14.75 per person, $7.45 for children 6-12 or free for children 5 and younger. Tickets can be purchased in advance at, or at the Bulldog Café, located in the Tate Student Center.