The authors personally tested each recipe featured in the cookbook and made four research trips to Blacksburg to taste various foods.
“I like to say we definitely ate our way through Blacksburg,” Schoels said.
In addition to recipes, Gallagher and Schoels included a collection of essays with titles like “From Mystery Meat to Fresh Maine Lobster,” which details the evolution of the dining hall experience at Tech.
“It’s not just recipes; the book also tells the stories of the restaurants downtown and how the food community really developed at Tech,” Schoels said, “I think one of the coolest parts of the book for me was the stories of the restaurants and how the owners ended up in Blacksburg. It shows their passion for the community and the town.”
Gallagher and Schoels can attest to the fact the recipes really do capture the essence of the food surrounding the campus, and are able to evoke fond memories of time spent in Blacksburg.
“Everyone (who gave us the recipes) took such great care and paid so much attention to detail that you really can recreate them at home,” Schoels said.
Their book was an off and on project beginning in 2007, but was finally finished in April of 2011 and released in August of 2012. For the authors, the book is a work of passion and worth every minute and every ounce of their time and effort.
“The people and the passion behind these dishes are what makes them work,” Gallagher said.
According to Schoels, the book is a way for both men and women to show how much Tech and the Blacksburg community meant to them. They also hope this book gives readers an idea of what it means to be a Hokie.
“I hope that this book will be a great keepsake for people. It just gives you one more reason to be proud of being a Hokie,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher and Schoels will be signing copies of their book Friday from noon to 2 p.m. at Turner Place and Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Volume 2 bookstore. Copies are available for purchase at their appearances, as well as in the campus bookstore.