AUGUSTA, GEORGIA – If a Masters badge is the most coveted possession here this week, a seat at the Champions Dinner Tuesday night is the most cherished reservation.
Imagine settling in as a Masters champion for a dinner built on stories and memories. There is no actual seating chart but the invitees tend to sit in the same general spots each year.
Sergio Garcia takes his turn as host of the dinner this year and, as you would expect, he’s taken great care in selecting the menu. Garcia said it will be a three-course dinner with a Spanish theme and his own special touches.
It will begin with a Caesar salad, a favorite of Garcia’s, but it won’t be a traditional Caesar.
“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,” Garcia said. “We want to add at least one or two new 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.”
The main course – Arroz Coldoso de Bogavante – is a rice dish with lobster, not paella but more of a soup.
For dessert, Garcia will serve his favorite – tres leches cake.
So excited and honored to host my first Champions Dinner @TheMasters! I hope everyone will enjoy the food. Can’t wait to sit around all those great champions and listen to their stories! pic.twitter.com/Qcs3Tmj8Oj
— Sergio Garcia (@TheSergioGarcia) April 3, 2018
There will be Spanish wines as well.
The coolest thing about the dinner? Everyone there has a green jacket.
As the current champion, Garcia was allowed to take his green jacket with him, an accommodation made only to the reigning Masters champion. He put it to good use, wearing it at his wedding, at Wimbledon and many other places.
Garcia hardly took the jacket off in the days after his victory last April including a whirlwind media tour in New York City on the Monday following his win. He was disheartened when he realized his new jacket had gotten stained along the way.
“All of a sudden we’re kind of wrapping up the first day on Monday, and I’m about to do an interview,” Garcia said. “I’ve been taking pictures with different people and guys behind stage and stuff like that, and I kind of look at my right arm and there’s two big grease stains on it. And I’m thinking, my God, I’ve had the jacket for a day and a half and I already have two massive stains on it. What am I going to do?
“So apparently one of the guys from backstage working on the stage, he must have had some grease on something, and when I put my arm around him, it just got on it. So we were trying to clean it up as best we can and everything, and we kind of get it off a little bit, and then we took it to a dry cleaner and they did a great job.”