How to make big dining events special

Question: 

What’s the biggest annual dining event at your operation, and how do you make it special?

Answers from Chefs' Council

Throughout the year, we have two types of large events that are well attended. We do a campus welcome dinner outside for everyone on campus, and we serve about 14,000 meals. We partner with all the student organizations, as well as the alumni association, to be a part of something really big.

The other big events are the end-of-semester dinners in December and April. We make sure to thank everyone for being our guests, and really try to go above and beyond our normal offerings with dishes like prime rib, high-end fresh fish, specialty desserts, and numerous appetizers and fresh breads.

Kurt Kwiatkowski
Corporate Chef for Culinary Services
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Mich.

We do a monthly birthday theme where we celebrate all birthdays for the residents as a whole community, with special menus from soups to desserts that encompass themes and cuisines from all over the word. 

Stephen Plescha
Executive Chef
Pennswood Village Senior Living Community
Newtown, Pa.

Our highest-attended event, Krannert at the Ike, occurs during April and is an outdoor event held on the Ikenberry Quad. Last year’s count was 3,818 people! We serve as much local and seasonal food as possible for the cost of one meal swipe. We partner with the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on campus.

Carrie Anderson
Executive Chef  For Residential Dining
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Champaign, Ill.

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