Willy Wonka and the Wildcats: chocolate event draws a crowd

By GabPezzelli
On February 14, 2014

It was a night of pure imagination on Feb. 12 in Philbrook Dining Hall, as students and members of the UNH community took part in the "Philly and the Chocolate Factory" dinner.

A dietetic intern working with Philbrook thought of the idea for this event over a year ago, even before Holloway Commons' popular Harry Potter dinner. While brainstorming ideas for an event that focused on chocolate, the classic children's story seemed like an obvious choice for inspiration and "Philly and the Chocolate Factory" was born. Philbrook Area Manager Brandon Crosby said the idea became more elaborate over time and required much more planning. 

"We started working on it and it got to be a bigger and bigger deal," Crosby said.

This led to the decision to postpone the dinner until this year. According to Crosby, the dinner was well worth it and the turnout was even greater than expected. 

"For the first time, I've heard people saying, 'This is so crowded, I'm eating at Holloway.'"

Upon entering Philly, diners were entered into a world of treats both visual and consumable. The classic soundtrack from the 1971 film set the whimsical tone of the evening, as crewmembers dressed as the film's characters kept the fun going. Philbrook crewmembers decked out in green Oompa Loompa wigs prepared and served the delightful twists on the usual dining hall staples, which could only be described as "scrumdidilyumptious."

In place of plain pepperoni pizza, Philbrook's chefs created a s'more pizza that would've made Willy Wonka himself proud. More Wonka-inspired dishes included a Veruca Salted Cheesecake, Augustus Gloop chocolate river and Everlasting Gobstopper cucpakes

The fun didn't stop there, as diners were also given personal bubble wands to enjoy while they ate and a photo booth with props let everyone get in on the costume action to commemorate the evening. Anyone who took part in the event surely felt that they, like Charlie, got the golden ticket.

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