AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Sergio Garcia is bringing a taste of Spain to the traditional Champions Dinner on Tuesday night at Augusta National while saluting all the other international winners of the fabled Masters Green Jacket.
Garcia, who broke through last year to win his first major championship, has ordered up tapas to start with, a lobster rice dish, and a large salad featuring ingredients from all 11 countries that have produced Masters winners.
Champions have also come from South Africa, Germany, England, Scotland, Wales, Fiji, Canada, Argentina and Australia besides the United States.
“Extremely excited about it,” Garcia told reporters. “Obviously it is my first one, but it’s going to be so emotional. It’s going to be such a tremendous honour. And I’m hoping that everybody will enjoy it.”
Garcia is following a tradition begun in 1952 when Ben Hogan was feted at the first Champions Dinner with all other former winners invited as guests. A standard menu of beef, chicken and seafood fare eventually gave way to personal requests made by the guest of honour.
“It’s going to be three of my favourite dishes,” Garcia said about his menu that also includes Spanish wine and a Spanish dessert. “I’m a big fan of Caesar salad. We’re making it a little bit different, a little special.
“We want to pay a little tribute to all the winners and all the countries that have won the Masters, so we want to add to that salad. We want to add at least one or two ingredients from every country that has won the Masters, so it’s going to be a little more special and it’s our way of saying thanks to all the winners.”
Garcia said the main course was very special to him.
“It’s going to be a rice dish, not a paella, but it’s going to be a lobster rice dish. It’s kind of like a soup kind of meal. Very delicious, very tasty. So I hope that everyone enjoys it. I definitely will.”
Editing by Toby Davis