Caterer brings taste of NC to U.S. Open

Posted June 17, 2014

— Ridgewells Catering, a company from Washington, D.C., is tasked with serving up championship-style meals every day for two weeks to the players and corporate guests at Pinehurst Resort for the U.S. Open.

Susan Lacz is the company owner and the general for this invasion of the Sandhills.

It's a friendly battle though with no enemy, just a labor of love. It's been Lacz' responsibility to feed 60,000 people during the course of two U.S. Opens.

"You don't look at it like 60,000 people," said Lacz. "You look at it like 60 locations with 100 people each day for seven days. So you just have to break it down."

Everything is hand made, not frozen out of a box.

"Everything we do here is hand made. Nothing is poured out of a carton," said Lacz. "This kitchen we built here, it's got air conditioning, plumbing, all the power that we need. We do all of our cooking here."

Ridgewells recruited from the local community for the 600 or so chefs and food preparation staff who pull together fresh, handmade meals at a rate of about 60,000 per day.

"Whenever we go into an area, we want to get a local flavor," Lacz said. "We contracted with Parker's Barbecue, and so they were serving us all of the barbecue."

Her company is in its 14th year holding the contract for the U.S. Open, and the preparation is months in the making.

"Last season, I went to the New York Fancy Foods Show. I went to the section for North Carolina, found Little Black Dressing, found Butterfields candies, found Nye's Cream Sandwiches, Locopops," Lacz said. "We source, and we're serving all the flavors of North Carolina."

Little Black Dressing, a salad dressing company, is the brainchild of a Davidson County woman. Butterfields hard, fruity Buds are made in Nashville. The Nyes are a husband-wife team out of Wilmington, and Locopops frozen desserts are made in Durham.

Ridgewells is catering the meals for players and their families, for the USGA staff and corporate sponsors in tents around the resort. They provide the food for every location at the Open, except for the fan concession stands at Pinehurst No. 2.


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