Not to be outdone by Augusta’s pimento cheese sandwiches, the Colonial has its own culinary tradition: quail, a dish traditionally served at breakfast on the first day of the tournament. It’s a tradition that began when a Colonial member who also was an avid hunter invited a few friends over for quail before a tournament. The “few friends” grew until the club was serving multiple breakfasts on the opening day. As you can see from the photo (taken with a point-and-shoot, so I apologize that it’s not up to my usual standards), the breakfast also include cheese grits, biscuits, gravy and eggs.
Mrs. GolfBlogger and I were delighted to be invited to take part in the Crowne Plaza Invitational quail breakfast in 2011.
I’d never had quail before and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The easy answer is that it “tastes like chicken,” but that’s not quite right. Another easy out would be to say that it’s like chicken but “gamier.” I think it’s a rather mild taste, like chicken, but that if you were to place the two side by side, you’d notice a difference. The cheese grits were delicious, and Mrs. GolfBlogger really appreciated the biscuits and gravy, which she missed from her years when she was stationed in Texas with the Air Force.
At our particular quail breakfast, we were treated to a talk by CBS golf producer Lance Barrow and Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief, who presented a City Council proclamation and the key to the city to IHG CEO Andy Cosslett. Mayor Moncrief noted that Crowne Plaza has raised $6 million for charity in 2011 alone, and that the economic impact of the tournament for the Fort Worth area is $33 million. In his talks, Barrow said that the Crowne Plaza Invitational would be shown in 206 countries, and that, at one time or another over the weekend, one billion people would tune in.
Tournament Director Chuck Scherer also spoke, giving a brief history of the tournament and of the jackets.
(originally published May 20, 2011)