Awards & Affiliations

Continuing the trend of excellence, UC Berkeley again appears towards the top of college dining experiences. Delish noted the multitude of vegan and vegetarian options as well as the commitment to combating food insecurity. Read more here.

Last fall the University of California—Berkeley's Cal Dining opened the first dining station in the UC system that is certified kosher and also accommodates Muslim, vegetarian and vegan students.

Cal Dining launched a new plant-forward menu – which emphasizes meatless meals that contain whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lentils, chickpeas, nuts and seeds – alongside the kosher station, says Adam M. Ratliff, critical communications manager at UC—Berkeley's student affairs division. He says the menu intentionally increases the ratio of plant-based foods to animal products without compromising flavor.

"Whether a student is vegan, a vegetarian, they eat kosher or halal, our goal was to provide more options for our diverse student community," says Ratliff.

U.S.News: Global Universities Adapt Menus for International Students

Berkeley’s Cal Dining is one of the greenest food service programs in the country. Endeavoring to reduce waste to 0% by 2020, Caldining emphasizes ecologically-sound practices. Brown’s Café is “hyper-local” and offers ingredients exclusively sourced within 250 miles of Berkeley’s campus. Caldining instituted a pre-customer food-waste prevention program that measures all kitchen waste, and it encourages staff and students to change their preparation and ordering practices accordingly. - Best Dining Halls

When Shawn LaPean arrived at the University of California, Berkeley to lead its food service program in 2003, the university’s dining halls did not have a positive reputation. Several publications and websites ranked the program among the worst in the country based on surveys, and rumors of low-quality meat and other substandard practices were rampant among students. 

food&drink article on CalDining

Cal Dining has just opened the first dining station in the UC system that is certified kosher and designed to appeal not only to the Jewish community on campus, but also to Muslims who eat halal foods, as well as students who are vegetarian and vegan.

The new kosher/halal food station is part of an overall revamping of Café 3 to emphasize plant-forward meals that are sourced locally and sustainably. This is in line with Cal Dining’s overall goal of producing menus that are both nutritious and sustainable. Read more here

Chef Jose Martinez and Chef Emily Bridges of UC - Berkeley, prepared several innovative watermelon recipes that were in contention for the Sensory Experience contest during the PMA’s 35th annual Foodservice Conference & Expo in Monterey, CA. The Produce News: PMA Foodservice Conference & Expo.
UC Berkeley won two 2016 Higher Education Energy Efficiency and Sustainability BestPractice Awards: Jacobs Hall for Energy Efficiency in Construction/Renovation, and Brown's for Sustainable Food Systems. The Best Practice Awards are selected from campuses in the University of California and California State University systems by the CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference. Cal Wins Sustainability Best Practice Awards for Jacobs Hall and Brown's Cafe
Cal Dining is a member of the National Association of College and University Foodservice (NACUFS), and was honored to receive the Loyal E Horton Dining Award Gold Medal – Residential Dining for our "Veggie Valentines" Dinner, the goal of this event was to educate the campus community on the plant-forward menu designs we adhere to daily, to showcase our plant-based options, and introduce new recipes, ingredients, and vegetable preparation techniques to our students and chefs. NACUFS Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards.
Sierra Magazine ranked four-year, degree-granting undergraduate institutions in across the U.S. and Cal Dining was ranked in the top 5 for providing sustainable dining programming!
Learn more about Brown’s Café and how their efforts are moving the ‘plant forward’. The menu is made almost entirely from foods grown within 250 miles of the campus.

Mike Laux, Christina Voyles, and Chef Martinez accept the Loyal E Horton grand prize award for Cal Dining's "Extreme Local" dinner and farmers market event!

NACUFS Loyal E Horton Award

Cal Dining is a member of the National Association of College and Univeristy Foodservice (NACUFS), and was honored to recieve the Gold Medal for this year's Loyal E Horton Dining Award for our "Extreme Local" Dinner, showcasing menu items in which all ingredients came from within 250 miles! Click here for full article.
The Daily Meal has pulled together the best 60 colleges for food in America and UC Berkeley is in the Top 20! Check out the complete list and criteria for selection here: Click here for full article.
UC Berkeley is doing such a good job of recycling that today (Thursday, Nov. 15), America Recycles Day, the regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency came to campus to praise Cal Dining's efforts to reduce the food waste stream - in particular, by cutting upstream food purchases to limit downstream waste. Click here for information.
For his work and commitment to the non-commercial foodservice industry. Other honorees include The Culinary Institute of America and First Lady, Michelle Obama. Click here for information.
Sustainability Awards in the Procurement Practices category for becoming Marine Stewardship Council Certified, offering sustainable fish where possible in the dining commons beginning in October 2011.
Based on food purchasing practices quantifying what percent of their school budget is spent on local and community-based, fair, ecologically sound or humane food. For more information and the complete list of winners:
for their newest achievements including receiving Marine Stewardship Council certification for their seafood purchases, establishing a new Sustainability Team, and hitting the 25 percent mark for their purchases of local, organic, or fair trade food. Team members include Charles Davies, Shawn LePean, Jenna Kingkade, Patrice Thomas and Lucky Vasquez. For more information click here.
For their demonstration of outstanding service and exceptional presence in the campus community.
She will compete at the National NACUFS conference, summer 2012! Mary's bio is featured in the Conference Program here on page 20.
becoming the first US public university to serve certified sustainable seafood. Each dining commons will offer MSC seafood whenever possible, and will hopefully encourage other universities to follow suit. An article regarding the transition can be found here.
and third place overall finish at the NACUFS Pacific Regional Challenge! Shannon competed against eight other talented Chefs from the region in her first competition ever. Her practice and dedication paid off and continues to uphold Cal Dining's reputation for excellence in the culinary arts.
With his winning recipe "Grilled Portobello, Apple and Fennel Risotto, Grilled Radicchio, Glazed Carrots, and Truffle Vinaigrette," Eric scored a bronze medal. Beating out the other Pacific Region competitors in Colorado March 2010, Eric represented the entire Pacific region at the national conference in San Jose. Congratulations Eric!
Visit here to find out more:
NACUFS Culinary Challenge '10
The grand Venetian Carnival at Clark Kerr Campus impressed students and judges alike. Thanks to Terry Wynne, Robert Stayte, Patrice Thomas and all the people that contributed to making a fabulous entry.
Visit here to find out more:
Loyal E. Horton awards
Don's dish of Poached Trout on Buttered Leeks with Sauteed Yukon Gold Potatoes, Watercress and Pancetta Salad tossed in Meyer Lemon Dressing won complements from the judges for a great presentation, excellent organization and cooking skills, and wonderful flavor.
The Ivy Award is one of the oldest and most coveted food service industry accolades. Past winners include Chez Panisse, French Laundry, Harvard and Stanford. For details, visit:
Berkeleyan article
Each year, the Silver Plates recognize the industry's most outstanding and accomplished foodservice operators in nine key segments. Shawn LaPean has been awarded the 2008 Silver Plate in the Colleges & Universities category.
Visit the links below to learn more:
Restaurants & Institutions
Food Service Director Magazine
Article from Food Management
Picture of the Silver Plate
"Moving all the way up from eighth place last year, the spirit of Berkeley has once again risen to the occasion. With an extensive selection of vegan dishes, including Southwest soy crumble and tofu scramble; black bean, potato, and Field Roast "sausage" hash; and vegan chicken nuggets, it's no wonder that the students have so much energy at their legendary social justice rallies."
Check out the Peta2 webpage to see the full article:
2007 PETA2 Veg-Friendly Colleges Contest
Cal Dining's own Patricia Williams, a Principal Cook at Crossroads, recently competed in the NACUFS Western Regional Culinary Challenge in Vancouver, BC, and won a silver medal. Pat was one of 11 contestants from the region who competed (other universities who competed this year included Stanford, University of British Columbia,University of Oregon, UC Santa Barbara and others).
Visit here to find out more :
Patricia Williams takes Silver!
Customers voted Cal Dining/UC Berkeley in the Top 10 most vegetarian friendly colleges by PETA2. Visit the official site for details:
Congratulations to Cal Dining's culinary team [Annie Gary, Conrad Huth, Michael Sarenas & Ida Shen] whom won silver medals and third place in the 12th Annual Chef Culinary Conference competition hosted by University of Massachusetts Amherst! 14 teams from 23 schools participated. The competition is based on a mystery basket ingredient method; see the Mediterranean inspired menu the chefs prepared:

"Mezze Trio" Chicken, Pistachio and Sultana Raisin B'astilla; House Made Yogurt Cheese with Garlic and Herbs, Poached Artichoke Heart; Pan Seared Red Snapper with Orange, Parsley & Caper "Gremolata;" Caramelized Onion and Apple stuffed Chicken Roulade; Cardamom infused Panna Cotta with Strawberry Sauce and Cornmeal-Almond Cookies.
Chuck Davies, Assistant Director/Executive Chef for Cal Dining, won a bronze medal at the NACUFS [National Association of College & University Food Services] Pacific Region Culinary Challenge on March 6, 2006. The competition is ACF [American Culinary Federation] certified and participants are judged on a 40 point scale on organization, sanitation and food safety, cooking skills and techniques, recipe creativity and taste. His medal winning recipe was Pan Braised Chicken Breast - Stuffed and rolled with Herbed Mushroom Duxelles, Chard, Aged Ricotta, Pancetta & Sweet Onions - Lemon Herb Jus - Served with Barley & Spring Pea "Risotto Style", Tournéed Carrots.

Davies, a lifelong culinarian and native Californian, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and was a recipient of a grant from the IACP for advanced studies in Paris. Following apprenticeships in New Orleans and San Francisco, Chuck lived and worked for many years in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. His career in Seattle included stints as a Chef-Instructor, Director of Product Development for a natural food store chain as well as owner/operator of the Volunteer Park Market and Café. Congratulations Chuck!
Cal Dining director Shawn LaPean was one of seventy staff members — 31 as individuals, 39 as members of six teams — received this year's Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award (COSA) at a Nov. 1 ceremony at International House. The awards, given to staff members who have provided exceptional service to the campus, are administered and presented annually by the Chancellor's Staff Advisory Committee. LaPean won an individual award because of his “dedication to students and continually evolving Cal Dining’s programs to meet students’ needs.”
For details, see this campus article:
Shawn LaPean, director of Cal Dining, was named one of 10 non-commercial-foodservice leaders who bring out-of-the-ordinary ideas, passion and energy to the industry's continuing evolution. For the entire story, visit this site:
Cal Dining was honored with the 2005 Chancellor’s Sustainability Awards for Team Effort because of our environmental efforts, especially for having the first green certified buildings on UC Berkeley’s campus and our continued environmental efforts. Visit this page for more information:
Cal Dining's four executive chefs won first place and gold medals at an American Culinary Federation (ACF) team competition! The team consisted of assistant director/executive chef Chuck Davies and unit executive chefs Conrad Huth (Crossroads), Ida Shen (Clark Kerr) and Michael Sarenas (Cafe 3).
The competition was part of a chef's conference at University of Massachusetts Amherst held last week and is considered the "super bowl of university culinary team competitions." Cal Dining's chefs were the only gold medal winners. Other participants include Harvard, UMass Amherst and eight other universities.
Check out the Photo Garden for all the exciting conference pictures!


Clark Kerr's Chef Ida Wins Silver Medal
Ida Shen, Clark Kerr's executive chef, won... [more] Ida Shen, Clark Kerr's executive chef, won a silver medal at the NACUFS [National Association of College & University Food Services] Pacific Region Culinary Challenge on March 1, 2005. The competition is ACF [American Culinary Federation] certified and participants are judged on a 40point scale on organization, sanitation and food safety, cooking skills and techniques, recipe creativity and taste. Her winning recipe was Cumin and Coriander Crusted Lamb Noisette.
The competition has two judging components: the medal competition, which awards medals based on the point range; and the ranking awards based on the top scores. Ida won a silver medal and was ranked in 4th place. All ranked winners this year received silver medals and only one point separated the top four winners. Ida's win is also significant because it is the first time Cal Dining has entered this competition.
Ida is a graduate of California Culinary Academy and studied in France at L'Ecole des Arts Culinaires et de l'Hotellerie de Lyon. Before coming to UC Berkeley in August, she worked in numerous catering companies, Strait's Café, and for Silks at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Congratulations Ida!


Crossroads, our largest dining center, was recently certificated as a Bay Area Green Business, the first facility on campus to receive this certification. Click HERE to read more from the official campus press release. Below, find other media coverage about Crossroads' Certification.
Cal Dining is proud to announce two recent Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards for our residential dining commons Crossroads and Foothill! The Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards are given through NACUFS (National Association of College and University Food Services) and judged by a panel of college dining professionals. Competition was at an all-time high with over 140 entries. Here are the results (Honorable Mention was given to those who have 90% of the qualifying points, but didn't get gold, silver or bronze):
Cal Dining chefs JP Metevier and Yoram Lishansky won bronze medals in the 9th Annual Chef Culinary Conference ACF Sanctioned Team Competition at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in July 2003. The winning recipe was Braised Beef. Metevier is the chef at Crossroads and Lishansky is the chef at DC3. For more information, visit
Cal Dining director Shawn LaPean was named one of the On-Site Future Power Powers by Nation's Restaurant News in June 2003. LaPean, who joined the Cal Dining team in January 2003 from Vanderbilt University, was one of four college directors named from a diverse group of 20 food service operators across the nation. "Shawn creates magic because he's willing to take risks," said Eddie Bankston, executive director of housing and dining at U.C. Berkeley.
Cal Dining's Suzanne Golden was named to the FoodPro Board of Directors in August 2003. She will serve as Secretary. Golden is responsible for purchasing, support services and menu management. FoodPro is a total food production, planning and control system that provides start-to-finish control from raw food through production, service, and analysis.

Affiliations List

Cal Dining is a proud member of several food service organizations:

NACUFS National Association of College & University Food Services

ACUHOI Association of College and University Housing Officers International

Caldining chefs

Caldining chef