Editorial: Dining Services awards showcase innovative changes

(Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

Over the past few weeks, UConn Dining Services has won multiple awards for the quality and diversity of their food. The two awards that have been won so far include the 2018 Menu Masters Healthful Innovations Award as well as a Silver Plate award. Both awards help recognize our university’s dining services program as well as the efforts the program is making as a whole to improve dining halls for all UConn students. While students may grumble and complain about the food in the dining halls, winning these awards should remind students how lucky we are to have a quality dining services program at our university

The Menu Masters Healthful Innovations Award was specifically given to UConn Dining Services for the integration of the “lean bean” pasta dishes in dining halls. The award focuses on honoring “outstanding foodservice research and development. Winners have made innovations or created menu items that Nation’s Restaurant News editors have judged to have a significant impact on the industry.” UConn’s “lean bean” pasta dishes have proven that they fall into this category by providing low-calorie, high-protein alternatives to typical pasta dishes. By giving students the opportunity to try these innovative dishes, the university is providing students with a way to focus on maintaining a healthier diet while still enjoying classics like pasta.

The Silver Plate Award was specifically awarded to Director of Dining Services, C. Dennis Pierce. This award, which is “widely considered the Academy Award of food service” focuses on honoring excellence in nine different areas of foodservice operations. Pierce has been nominated in the Colleges and Universities category. This nomination showcases the talent and effort that Pierce and Dining Services as a whole have been putting into making students’ on-campus dining experience enjoyable each day.  

By honoring our school’s programs with these awards, students should be reminded of how lucky we are to have the quality of care that we receive at UConn. While there may be days where you don’t find something you want at a dining hall, the dining services staff is clearly committed to ensuring students are satisfied with their meals. In being recognized for both these awards, students will hopefully remember to appreciate the innovative changes being made in our menus, and start to recognize how advanced and successful our dining program really is.