Unbelievable. Magical. Epic. Fire!
That’s what many of our students had to say about this year’s First Year Holiday Dinners, returning to Commons after years of renovation in the space.
The First Year Holiday Dinner is one of Yale Hospitality’s most elaborate, engaging, and immersive events with over 60 years of history —with the showstopping Parade of Comestibles . What was different this year? TONS. But namely, our team hosted not one, but TWO holiday dinners.
The Class of 2024 (this year’s sophomores) was unable to have the traditional fanfare of their First Year Holiday Dinner due to COVID-related health and safety guidelines. So this year, we were adamant about making sure they were able to celebrate — although a year later, better late than never! Their dinner on Friday, December 3rd was in their own words: “Amazinggggg” “Thrilling :) Spicyy!! And show stopping”
The very next day, the Class of 2025 enjoyed their First Year Holiday Dinner in style! Dressed to impress students were greeted at Commons’ doors by festive stilt walkers and glasses of sparkling cider as they walked into the dining room, reimagined as a winter wonderland. Yalies popped into a gondola photo booth setup, complete with a snow machine for the ultimate photo-op .What did they have to say?
“I LOVED IT!! It was so coool to see the entire batch and feel like a solid family”
The Experience | Parade of Comestibles
If you haven’t heard about it — it’s a pretty massive deal. After a trumpeted introduction Bob Sullivan, Senior Director of Residential Dining welcomed students to beautiful Commons and shared a teaser of what to expect in coming moments. Kicking off the Parade was the Blue Steel Drumline of New Haven — led by Norm, who has worked for Yale for 30+ years, of which he was part of the Yale Hospitality family. Blue Steel’s drums set the tone for the excitement to follow! On Saturday, we were honored to have President Peter Salovey and Yale College Dean Marvin Chun as our grand marshals leading a procession of flags representing each of our 14 colleges. And then… THE FOOD. Executive Chef Dave Kuzma led his team of chefs, who carried out grand displays of delicious eats around the dining room, which were then set on their respective tables for students to enjoy. And enjoy they did!
The Eats | Menu
Seven stations were ready to delight with fresh sushi, artisan cheese and charcuterie, vegetables a la plancha, herb-crusted sirloin steak, dim sum, pasta alla boscaiola, campanelle pasta with lobster, shrimp, scallops, calamari and mussels cioppino, crispy bork belly with sour cherry sauce… For something sweet, the focal point of the room was built in a circular design with Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon whipped cream, s’mores cupcakes, torched meringue tartlettes, and more!
Huge thanks to our extensive teams and partners for bringing this magical event to life for YOU, our dear students! Yale College Dean’s Office, Heads of Colleges, Schwarzman Center Hospitality, Yale Catering, Yale CSC & Bakery, our partners at Yale Schwarzman Center and more!
Photos By: David Zheng, Robert Consolatore, Christelle Ramos