RDP captures top honors in national competition
By Lori Greiner
Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 37 - July 30, 1998
Virginia Tech's department of Residential and Dining Programs (RDP) was awarded the grand prize in the Cash Sales Special Event category at the 25th Annual National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS) Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards Contest. The award was presented during the NACUFS National Conference held in Anaheim, California.
RDP's entry, Beach Bash '98, received the first place award in the Cash Sales Special Event category for the large-school division, and was chosen as the grand-prize recipient from all the entries in this category. This is the first time that RDP has received grand-prize recognition.
For Beach Bash '98, Owens Food Court was transformed into a beach, complete with 13 tons of sand, food and music. Backdrops with beach scenes were used to decorate the facility. Hand-carved ice sculptures of an alligator, a giant clam, a sailfish and a cruise ship adorned the buffet tables. Students were served a variety of dishes including oysters Rockefeller, chicken gumbo, steamed and spicy shrimp, crawfish etouffé, and fresh fruit melange grand marnier.
"This is a wonderful example of the more than 25 special meals that Culinary Services provided last year for our customers," said Rick Johnson, director of Culinary Services for RDP. "This event shows our commitment to providing students with excellent food, along with a unique dining experience."
RDP also received first place honors in the Catering Special Event category with their Greatest Show on Campus Open House entry. During this event, RDP's Personal Touch Catering unit premiered its new catering brochure. The Owens Banquet Room was transformed into a "Big Top Circus." While being entertained by clowns, jugglers, a magician and other circus acts, guests sampled food items featured in the new brochure. Personal Touch Catering also received a third-place award in the Catering Standard Menu category for its new, comprehensive catering brochure.
Judges evaluated entries for menu selection, presentation, merchandising, marketing and promotional activities. A total of 129 entries were submitted from colleges and universities across the country.
Residential and Dining Programs is a division of Student Affairs that provides facilities, services, staffing and programs which support the educational program of Virginia Tech and enhance the quality of campus life. Approximately 12,000 students and faculty and staff members hold dining plans and eat about 3.4 million meals per year in five different dining locations. RDP operates the 11th largest dining program in the country.
Owens Food Court, located on Virginia Tech's campus in the Owens Dining Center, consists of 12 specialty shops serving international and American favorites including pasta, sub sandwiches, pretzels, Philly cheesesteaks, and stir-fry combinations. Owens Food Court is open daily, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the academic year.
Personal Touch Catering, also located in Owens Dining Center, provides a variety of catering services for the university community. Catered events include seven course meals, upscale receptions, award banquets, buffet luncheons and gourmet coffee breaks. For more information, call 1-5827.