Dining Services celebrates Oktoberfest

Jill Frederick

Villanovans got a taste of Germany this month when Dining Services put on a special Oktoberfest-themed dinner.

On Oct. 7, just before fall break, all Villanova dining halls served a German-inspired menu in honor of the traditional German holiday.

As one of many special events in the dining halls this year, Oktoberfest is part of Dining Services’ plan to expose students to new cultures through their stomachs.

Oktoberfest is a huge holiday, celebrated throughout September and into October and is an important part of Bavarian culture.Though celebrated throughout all of Germany and many other countries, the festivities began in Munich.

In 1810, the holiday was created to commemorate the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese.

Perhaps best known for the beer that is served at the event, Oktoberfest is also a celebration of food. Whether celebrating in Munich or somewhere else in the world, a common element that links all the festivities is the huge amounts of traditional German food.

The connection of beer to the holiday began in 1818, when unusually warm weather prompted the thirst of the celebrators. Villanova provided a keg of birch beer in each dining hall in honor of this tradition.

The menu, which included braised red cabbage, sauerkraut and veggie schnitzel, was created by a special menu committee. Adding to the menu’s authenticity was the input of Chef Werner, the executive chef of Dougherty Dining Hall, who is originally from Austria. Werner, along with numerous other chefs, also prepared the food.

“Sauerbraten takes about four hours to prepare because they are very tender, and the red cabbage must be marinated,” Werner said.

Every dining hall was busy preparing this special dinner.Dining Services has offered the Oktoberfest dinner several years in a row, along with many other special event meals. Michael McGuckin, the director of resident and retail operations, praised the dining halls’ efforts and commended them on getting students interested in new foods and cultures.

“This allows students to experience foods they otherwise may not have been able to,” he said. “It allows students to see a part of another culture.”

October is a busy month for dining services events, with the Oktoberfest dinner, A Taste of Thailand on Oct. 21, the Diwali Dinner on Oct. 29 and a Halloween dessert bar on Oct. 31.