Dining Services Wins Gold Medal for Lumberjack Brunch

Dining Services won a gold medal in a prestigious national competition for the Lumberjack Brunch it designed and hosted in conjunction with NMU’s Winterfest celebration. The event ranked as the top residence hall theme event among mid-size institutions in the Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards program sponsored by the National Association of College and University Food Services.

“It’s an exciting morale booster for our production and service staff,” said Sharon Carey (Dining Services). “The management team may come up with an idea, but they’re the ones who put the components together. It was fulfilling to watch the teamwork required to pull this off.”

Working with the Center for Student Enrichment, Dining Services developed a special event at The Marketplace around the Winterfest theme of “Timbrr…Get Your Lumberjack On.” An all-you-care-to-eat buffet featured signature recipes ranging from carved hardwood smoked breast of turkey and lumberjack meatloaf to red flannel hash morel mushroom soup. There were also two vegan dishes: pine nut stuffing and forest mushroom stew.

More than 75 trees, stumps and various wood products gave the facility an outdoor ambiance. The tables were decorated with oil lanterns and there were displays of logging implements on loan from the Marquette County History Museum and other artifacts contributed by employees. NMU employees wore t-shirts with the Winterfest theme and student employees dressed as lumberjacks.

Aside from some window painting and limited preliminary work earlier in the week, most of the transformation occurred during a five-hour window between The Marketplace’s closing and opening.

Students were able to enjoy live music and participate in a Paul Bunyan pancake eat-off contest and a lumberjack lookalike contest.

“At the NACUFS national conference in July, we will be competing for the theme dinner grand prize with the winners from the other institution size categories—the University of Georgia and Brigham Young University’s Hawaii campus,” said Greg Minner (Dining Services).  “It’s the largest category and the stiffest competition. Everyone wants to do a theme event.”


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Updated: May 1, 2009

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