A Virtual Community Potluck

Continuing to plan your reduced-size holiday meal? Cooking everything at home may not be necessary. We asked individuals working behind the scenes on Champaign County Safe what dish they would bring from a local restaurant to a holiday meal. Here’s what they had to say.


To kick off this community potluck, we have a couple first course options. Xander Hazel, Executive Director of the Champaign Center Partnership brings some deviled eggs from Big Grove Tavern. Shrimp Cocktail from Hamilton Walker’s is the appetizer of choice for Bruce Knight, Planning & Development Director for the City of Champaign. Another appetizer from Hamilton Walker’s also makes an appearance, with Sue Grey, President & CEO of the United Way of Champaign County bringing Bacon Wrapped Dates.


We have an array of options for our main course, showing off our international flavors. Gloria Yen, Director of the New American Welcome Center at the University YMCA brings Crispy Duck from Lai Lai Wok to the table. Robin Kaler, Associate Chancellor at the University of Illinois, spices things up with Yellow Curry (spice level 4!) from Taste of Thai. Laura Frerichs, Executive Director at the University of Illinois Research Park and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Economic Development, brings a comforting dish, Butternut Squash Ravioli from Biaggi’s.


A few side dishes are necessary to round out the meal. Jayne DeLuce, President & CEO of Visit Champaign County, is bringing the Twice Baked Potato Casserole from Black Dog Smoke & Ale House to the table. Meanwhile fellow Visit Champaign County staff member, Terri Reifsteck, Vice President of Marketing & Community Engagement with Visit Champaign County, would delight everyone with the Macaroni & Cheese from Wood N’ Hog Barbecue. Laura Bleill, Mom-in-Chief at ChambanaMoms.com wants to make sure guests enjoy the Truffle Fries from Sun Singer.


No meal is complete without dessert! Andrea Ruedi, Senior Advisor for Integrated Strategy Development for the City of Urbana, says the Layered Carrot Cake from Rick’s Bakery is a real treat. Carly McCrory-McKay, Executive Director of the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation, simply says pie from Hopscotch Bakery + Market. With all the choices, we’ll just eat all the pie!

We want to know, what local dish would you bring to a holiday dinner?

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