Beverly Hills, CA -- Before kickoff of one of the most anticipated football games of the year, there is beef! Every year since 1956, Lawry’s Prime Rib in Beverly Hills hosts each Rose Bowl team for an elite dinner called the Beef Bowl. It’s one of college football’s most iconic and delicious traditions.
In football, most of the work is done on the practice field and for this annual event it’s no different. In order to feed an entire Oregon football program, the work is done behind the scenes.
“Well first we take into account how many we are going to serve,” said Lawry’s culinary director Damon Gordon Obviously. “Being strong athletes, these players have healthy appetites. So that will equate to how much beef we will cook, how many potatoes and how much creamed corn we will prepare.”
Lawry’s prepared over 700 pounds of prime rib to be devoured, serving its most popular slice: the Lawry's cut.
“Once it gets on the plate with the au jus, the mash and the corn, that 10 ounces is just big enough to where you don’t necessarily need to have seconds,” said Gordon.
Regardless of how many servings these players wolf down, the bonding experience they share at the dinner table is priceless.
“I’m sitting with guys like Calvin Throckmorton, Jake Hansen, Justin Herbert and guys I’ve been here with for a long time,” said Oregon offensive lineman Shane Lemuiex. “I just relish it every single moment I get with these guys because there is never going to be a relationship like this again outside of this university. So, it’s stuff like this that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.”
Shane Lemuiex had the honor of cutting the first slab of prime rib and he dedicated the plate to the man who’s helped mold the Ducks into the championship caliber program it is today: Mario Cristobal.
“Coach Cristobal is my guy, man. I love that guy to death,” said Lemuiex. “It was right to give it to him. He’s done so much for this program and he's like a father figure to me. So I couldn’t choose anybody else.”
With stomachs full and plates polished, now all that’s left to do is play the game.
“If you told the 4-8 Ducks you were going to play in the Rose Bowl, they would say you’re crazy. And now looking back on it, it is crazy,” said Lemuiex. “It’s still crazy to think about, I think it’s really due to the part of going 1-0 every single week and to focus on the opponent we have. When we were playing Utah we were never thinking about the Rose Bowl. We never thought about anything ahead. So now literally all I have left is Wisconsin so it is easier to have that 1-0 mindset.”
Kickoff for the 106th Rose Bowl is 2:00 p.m. on New Year’s Day.