Culinary standards

Our Mission

In support of the academic mission of the university and in partnership with Residential Education, we proudly serve great tasting, healthy, sustainable food in a fiscally responsible manner.

Our Vision

To be the best in the industry.

Role of our Standards

The objective of our culinary standards is to support our vision of being the best in the industry. They are designed to be specific, achievable, innovative, and verifiable. Our standards reflect, communicate, and support our culinary culture and we hold ourselves accountable to them through employee training and recognition, and prominent public display.

Our Standards

  • Culinary Excellence
  • Menus are systematically created in alignment with seasonally available food.
  • Homemade non-commercially prepared foods will be served at all times.
  • We will prepare all foods as close to meal time as operationally possible, with a preference for just-in-time cooking.
  • We will serve only fresh primary vegetables in our daily features.
  • Our signature desserts will be baked from scratch.
  • We will use whole, fresh spices when seasonally available. 

Health & Wellness

  • We will never use MSG or oils containing trans fats in our preparations.
  • We will provide wheat, dairy, nut, and fish-free menu options at every meal and we will clearly identify these allergens in all other menu options that contain them.
  • We will maintain at least one dining location that is peanut sensitive.
  • Whole grains, legumes, and flaxseed will be served during every lunch and dinner service.
  • We will provide fresh spa water during all meal services.

Environmental & Social Stewardship

  • Our preference is to purchase locally grown, raised, or processed food directly from farmers, ranchers, and manufacturers who treat their land, animals, and employees fairly and equitably.
  • We will preferentially purchase seafood that is listed as Best Choices or Good Alternatives by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.
  • We will use only cage-free eggs.
  • All coffee will be certified Fair Trade.
  • All milk will be antibiotic and hormone free, and sourced from local dairies. 
  • All non-fat milk will be organic.
  • Every meal will feature organic and locally grown vegetables from ALBA.
  • We will actively work with our staff and students to reduce the amount of food waste we generate and to divert as much of our edible food waste as possible to those in need.

Menu Diversity

  • Menus will incorporate a wide variety of culturally authentic ethnic recipes.
  • We will celebrate culturally significant events by preparing appropriate and customary food options, to the greatest extent possible.
  • We will serve vegan and vegetarian main entrees at every meal service.
  • Halal meal options will be served during lunch and dinner at all dining locations.
  • We will offer a homemade kosher dinner that has been prepared in a kosher kitchen and overseen by a mashgiach during our kosher meal program.

Aspirations & Explorations

  • We are committed to the elimination of high-fructose corn syrup in all purchased products.
  • We will continue to displace meat and byproducts thereof from animals that were treated with growth hormones and antibiotics and/or that were raised in confinement.