Cookbook offers exquisite food with a dash of history
A new book published by the Virginia Tech Foundation offers a sampling of recipes from the university’s historic presidential home with proceeds benefitting a scholarship fund for spouses and dependent children of university employees.
“The Grove: Recipes and History of Virginia Tech’s Presidential Residence,” features 226 pages of recipes for dozens of dishes prepared at The Grove along with a historical perspective on the campus landmark. Edited and written by Clara Cox, former director of publications for the university, the book features recipes and photos for mouth-watering appetizers, salads, breads, cereals, soups, sauces, entrées, vegetables, fruit dishes, and desserts prepared by Executive Chef Michael Arrington and retired Chef Josef R. Schelch.
“These chefs develop their own recipes, adapt classic favorites, and then ensure that the resulting dishes are not just aesthetically pleasing but also provide epicurean enjoyment to the hundreds of guests we entertain at The Grove each year,” said President Charles W. Steger.
The publication is Steger’s brainchild, a way to raise money for the Employees’ Spouse and Dependent Scholarship. The book is available at the University Bookstore and at Volume Two Bookstore for $34.99.
Among the featured dishes are crab and avocado terrine, pumpernickel rolls, split pea soup with Virginia ham hocks, eggplant lasagna, truffle potato dumplings, and black forest bread pudding. More than 25 pages are devoted to recipes dating back to the 1940s from the university’s first ladies and menus used during five presidential administrations.
Intermingled among the photos and text are short biographies of Arrington and Schelch and the 10 presidents who lived in the Colonial Revival-style house that was built in 1902. The book also includes information on selecting foods, using salt blocks in cooking, historic campus recipes dating back to the early 1900s, and definitions of ingredients and techniques used in the recipes.
The Grove has been the home for Virginia Tech’s presidents, with one exception, since its completion. The Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute (today’s Virginia Tech) Board of Visitors heeded President John M. McBryde when he recommended converting his home into an infirmary and building a new one for the school’s chief executive. The first inhabitant was McBryde, who lived there from 1902 to 1907. The three-story, 15,000-square-foot structure has been renovated twice, the last time in 2000.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.