May 19—STORRS — The University of Connecticut Department of Dining Services on the Storrs campus received a gold medal in the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Best Vegan Recipes competition.
UConn took credit for their cinnamon chipotle cachapas with black bean avocado salsa and pickled red onions.
This was part of the menu change at McMahon Dining Hall on the Storrs campus this spring semester, when the department for dinners presented plant-based foods.
Robert Landolphi, assistant director of culinary development and interim assistant director for residential dining at UConn Storrs, is pleased that the university’s department of dining services has received the award. He thanked those who helped the department receive the award.
“We are proud to have an administration that supports our commitment to NACUFS, a team of executives and chefs who believe in sustainability,” Landolphi said in a press release. “Most importantly, we have a student body that dines with us daily and is willing to share with us what’s important to them as they help us expand our plant-based cuisine.”
The hospitality department has been doing well lately.
They also won the gold award for their vegan recipes in 2020, 2018 and 2016. In addition, earning gold in this year’s best vegan recipe contest is the second award food services have earned from NACUFS this year.
In March, UConn Storrs Dining Chef Sean Hawkins received a bronze award in a culinary challenge at the NACUFS Mid-Atlantic/Northeast Regional Conference.
Hawkins won the award for his turkey breast with herb crust, sweet cilantro potatoes, fried green beans and a leek cream sauce.
A printable recipe and link to a video demonstration for the cachapas and printable recipe for the turkey breast can be found at dine in. uconn.edu/recipes†
The Best Vegan Recipes Contest celebrates colleges and universities that have incorporated creative and healthy vegan recipes into their menus.
UConn finished first in the competition, ahead of the State University of New York at Buffalo and Marist College, respectively. The competition for the best vegan recipes takes place in even years.
NACUFS is a trade association committed to supporting and promoting excellence in peer dining. The association offers food competitions to spotlight some of the best university foods. NACUFS also offers the NACUFS Foundation Clark E. DeHaven Scholarship to students from affiliated institutions interested in pursuing careers in accredited programs in the foodservice profession.
UConn spokesperson Stephanie Reitz noted that the recent awards UConn’s Department of Dining Services have received from NACUFS are well-deserved.
“UConn has a great history of success in this particular awards program and it really recognizes the hard work and thought that goes into our dining options,” she said.
Reitz added that the dining services department is working hard to accommodate a variety of food preferences.
“We know we have students who are vegan or vegetarian and have a variety of food preferences and we want to accommodate all of those preferences,” she said.