Dining Services

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About Us

Sustainability  |  Memberships  |  Awards  |  Our Dream

pavilion heirloom cucinaIn the News

USD ranked #18 for Best Campus Food - Princeton Review's Best Colleges 2014

Millennial Food Trends" featuring USD Chef Bobby

San Diego Union Tribune articles:

About Us

Dining Services is a not-for-profit auxiliary set up to serve the students, faculty and staff of the University of San Diego. USD Dining annually allocates earnings back to the University of San Diego and students.

soda shoppeWe are passionate about the food we provide for you each day. Our team includes staff who have been serving the USD community for as many as 35 years; chefs trained at world-renowned schools such as the Culinary Institute of America, Johnson & Wales, and the California Culinary Academy; and a management team that is dedicated to creating enjoyable meals and services for each and every customer.

Within the Auxiliary Services division, our nationally recognized, award-winning campus dining program encompasses a variety of unique retail locations, La Gran Terraza bistro and pub, Tu Mercado (natural foods grocery store), Pavilion Dining, athletic concessions, vending and USD Catering. We are proud to also provide meals for conference services and the Manchester Child Development Center.

Sustainable Services

USD Dining Services is dedicated to meeting the challenge of offering fresh, wholesome foods and to do so in a way that supports local food sources, considers the environmental impact of our decisions and guarantees healthy alternatives in each of our restaurants. We look forward to working with students and faculty as we move forward in meeting this challenge.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

All cardboard is recycled, all napkins within the dining units are made from recycled content. All dining print pieces are printed on recycled paper. Dining Services is also part of the university-wide committee to address the need for additional recycling options on campus and a "zero waste" goal. One of the ways we keep waste out of the landfill is via our BioHitech digester machine in the Pavilion Dining location. This innovative machine uses micro-organisms to turn food scraps into water. USD was the first to have a BioHiitech digester on a college campus. Learn more about this fascinating technology here.
Recycling info: on-campus and off-campus

Trans-Fat Free

Dining Services has been trans-fat free since 2005. We use a unique zero-trans fat, canola-corn oil blend that is low in saturated fat, has no greasy aftertaste and contains zero grams of trans-fat per serving. The used oil is recycled, and much of it is also turned into biodiesel. Press release

Coffees with a Conscious

All dining locations feature alumni-owned, locally operated, Ryan Bros. organic, certified Fair Trade coffees and teas. 

What does Fair Trade mean?  

Fair Trade occurs when the grower receives a fair price for his/her coffee. Fair Trade growers also must meet the following criteria: (1) high quality product, (2) workers are treated, housed, fed, educated, and paid above average levels, and (3) the surrounding environment is treated with the respect it deserves.

Memberships:

  • National Association of College & University Food Services (since 1982)
  • California Restaurant Association (since 1997)
  • National Association of College Concessionaires (since 2000)
  • College and University Resource Board/HPSI (since 2000)
  • National Association of Convenience Stores (since 2001)

NACUFS Awards

National Association of College & University Food Services

Award Dining Area Category/Employee Year

Loyal E. Horton Dining, 2nd Place Silver

La Gran Terraza Retail Sales - Multiple Concepts 2012

Loyal E. Horton Dining, 2nd Place Silver

Torero Tu Go (food truck) Retail Sales - Single Concept 2012

Loyal E. Horton Dining, 2nd Place Silver

Pavilion Dining Residence Hall Dining - Special Event 2011

Loyal E. Horton Dining, Grand Prize

Tu Mercado Retail Sales - Multiple Concepts 2010

Loyal E. Horton Dining, 1st Place Gold

Tu Mercado Retail Sales - Multiple Concepts 2010
Best in the Business Tu Mercado Incorporating Sustainability 2010

Loyal E. Horton Dining, 1st Place Gold

Pavilion Dining Residence Hall Dining - Multiple Concepts 2010

Loyal E. Horton Dining, 1st Place Gold

Missions Cafe Retail Single Stand Alone Concept 2009

Loyal E. Horton Dining, 2nd Place Silver

Catering Catering Special Event 2004

Loyal E. Horton Dining, Grand Prize

Catering Catering Special Event 2002

Loyal E. Horton Dining, 1st Place Gold

Aromas Retail Single Stand Alone Concept 2001

Loyal E. Horton Dining, 2nd Place Silver

Catering Catering Special Event 1999
Student Employee of the Year Award Torero Grille Christopher Brusca 1997

Loyal E. Horton Dining, 1st Place Gold

Aromas Specialty Restaurant / Shop 1996
Student Employee of the Year Award Main Dining Noelle Starek 1993

Loyal E. Horton Dining, 1st Place Gold

Main Dining Residence Hall Dining Standard Menu 1991
Dining Idea Exchange, Grand Prize Marketplace & Torero Grille Retail Cash Sales Standard Menu 1990

Dining Idea Exchange, 1st Place

Marketplace Specialty Restaurant / Shop 1990
Dining Idea Exchange Grand Prize Catering Catering Standard Menu 1989

Dining Idea Exchange, 1st Place

Catering Catering Special Event 1989

Additional Distinguished Awards and Honors:

Award Employee/Area Title Year
Bronze Medal - Pacific Region Culinary Challenge, National Association of College & University Food Services Heather Lang, Pavilion Dining Sous Chef 2011
Premier Inc. Illuminating Excellence - Food service Director of the Year Finalist Andre Mallie

Director, Auxiliary Services

2010
Ralph B. McClure Craftsmanship UC and SLP Dining Locations - 2010
California Restaurant Assoc. Manager of the Year Ruth Silva Manager 2005
Thomas F. Burke Employee of the Year (USD Staff) Mariana Djaja Unit Leader 2004
Thomas F. Burke Employee of the Year (USD Administrator) Rudy Spano Director, Dining Services 2004
Administrator of the Year Rudy Spano Director, Dining Services 2001
USD Employee of the Year Te Thiessen

Executive Assistant, Dining Services

1997
USD Employee of the Year Lupe Cardenas Assistant Cook 1993
California Restaurant Assoc. Employee of the Year Jose Cardenas Principal Cook 1992
Cordon Bleu Food & Wine Society of London England (La Jolla Chapter) Finest Dinner of the Year Award Catering 1992