Nearly a thousand students at Tulane University gathered recently in Bruff Commons dining hall and composed their personal messages on a giant holiday greeting “postcard” to give thanks and post holiday wishes to a U.S. Army unit stationed on the front lines in Kunar, Afghanistan. McIlhenny Company provided a super-sized banner emblazoned with the famous pepper sauce and camouflage graphics, “Happy Holidays” and the special messages, which will be included with a care package of the iconic brand’s signature products.
McIlhenny Company, the family-owned and operated maker of world-famous Tabasco brand Pepper Sauce, has a long history with the military, spicing up meals for all U.S. military in mess halls, the officers’ clubs and on the battlefield since the Korean War. Several family members and leaders of the company have served in the military.
“We’ve supplied and sent gifts of product to our military many times over the years — we like to say the least we can do is help spare them from bland food!” says Stacy Hingle, foodservice division marketing manager for McIlhenny Company. “Our partnership with Tulane University Dining made this year all the more special; we couldn’t have predicted the genuine, truly heartfelt messages these students composed for the troops who will receive our care package. We know our troops will appreciate knowing they are in the thoughts and prayers of everyone at Tabasco and Tulane this holiday season.”
McIlhenny Company’s executive chef, Judson McLester, worked with Tulane University Dining to provide special holiday-inspired menu items at every food station incorporating various flavors of Tabasco Sauce — including a popular beverage station feature, Tabasco-spiced Dr. Pepper, and a banana beignet dessert with Tabasco-spiked blackberry syrup.
“With the holidays fast approaching, we wanted to have a way to do something on a grand scale to show our appreciation for our troops in Afghanistan and to have fun with Tulane’s dining services at the same time,” says chef Travis Johnson, executive chef, Sodexo/Tulane University in New Orleans. “We knew Tabasco has been a mainstay in troops’ field ration packs for decades, so we welcomed the opportunity to incorporate it on our foodservice menu and work with McIlhenny Company in a meaningful way.”