Many Thanksgiving dinners will feature pies handmade by University of South Carolina students this year thanks to a Gamecock tradition.

Students in the university’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management baked more than 500 chocolate walnut pies for Pie Day, with customers lining up at an improvised drive-through to collect their orders Tuesday.

The pies are a signature item at McCutchen House, the on-campus restaurant and learning lab. Students experience every aspect of the restaurant business under the leadership of faculty while serving lunch to the public Tuesday-Friday throughout the school year.

The last week before the big day this year was especially busy, with students managing a special Thanksgiving buffet at the restaurant while also taking orders and baking all the pies.

“They get a taste, no pun intended, of the real world,” said McCutchen House Director George Hendry. “They’ve gotten to experience how busy a restaurant can be during the holidays.”

Hendry said the Pie Day tradition was born more than 20 years ago from customer requests to have McCutchen desserts for their holiday dinners.

Pie Day customers also had the opportunity to buy kits to bake their own miniature tomato pies, another McCutchen House favorite.

With a successful Pie Day behind them, students now take a break for Thanksgiving, but will return for one more week of restaurant operations this semester. McCutchen House will be open Nov. 30-Dec. 3 for a special holiday buffet.

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Michael Keen’s tragic death is so sad. It breaks my heart that anyone would take another’s life. Where has the malicious nature of Americans emanated from? I am particularly sadden for Michael’s parents and the fact they have been robbed of seeing a life time achievement, his graduation, and experienced a lifetime loss of their dear son. I pray for their emotional well being this holiday season. And I hope Leon Lott and his tremendous Department find this evil and rid our community of such a plague. My condolences for your loss. Jamie Houston, COL (R). Serving to Heal. Honored to Serve.

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