College of the Holy Cross Dining has received both a bronze award and honorable mention for catering in the NACUFS (National Association of College University Food Services) Loyal E. Horton Awards for the President’s Council dinner and the Slow Food Gala. This is the third year in a row that Holy Cross Dining has been awarded for their work, having previously received a Gold prize for the inauguration dinner in honor of the Colleges’ 32nd president, Rev. Philip L. Boroughs, S.J., in 2013 and the Gold and Grand Prize for the construction of the Science Café in 2012. Dining also received a Bronze award for the “Kimball Takeover Program” which won in the Most Innovative Wellness and Nutrition Program category.
For the past seven years the Regional Environmental Council (REC) has partnered with Holy Cross Dining to host their annual Slow Food Gala, a fundraiser benefiting UGROW (Urban Garden Resources of Worcester) and YouthGROW (Youth Growing Organics in Worcester). Founded in 1971, REC is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to building strong, healthy communities and improving the quality of life in Worcester. UGROW is a network of more than 60 community and school gardens throughout the city, and, similarly, YouthGROW, is a program that employs 32 low-income urban teenagers and teaches them how to plant, grow and sell organic vegetables.
The Slow Food Gala is both a challenge and an opportunity for Holy Cross Dining to expand their commitment to sustainability and the Worcester community by using locally grown foods. Executive chef Ed Rome and associate director of Dining Services Marty Dudek, worked closely with REC to design a menu that featured only seasonal, locally-grown or organic ingredients. From artisanal cheeses handcrafted in Westport, Massachusetts to greens grown in REC’s UGROW and YouthGROW gardens each ingredient was carefully chosen from sources within 100 miles of Worcester including wine from Hardwick, Massachusetts. The menu encompassed all lifestyle diets including vegan and vegetarian and was prepared family-style to emphasize the social experience and community environment.
Each year, Holy Cross recognizes their most generous and loyal donors by welcoming them back to campus for a black-tie event known as President’s Council Dinner. Since 1967 President’s Council members have contributed more than half of the total dollars given to the College in any year with an astonishing $16.8 million in 2013 alone. The evening is an opportunity to thank alumni, parents and friends for their support and to celebrate all that their generosity makes possible.
With more than 300 supporters of the College returning to campus for the dinner, Holy Cross Dining began planning for the event almost a year in advance. The event featured decorative white and purple lanterns illuminating the trees leading into campus and a seasonal menu highlighting the quintessential fall flavors of New England.
Named for a NACUFS founder, past president and highly regarded innovator, the Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards celebrate exemplary menus, presentations, special event planning, and new dining concepts, and provide an avenue for sharing ideas and creative presentations in campus dining services.
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