Winner Winner, UMass Amherst Dinner.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst Dining Program is number one nationally for the seventh consecutive year, The Princeton Review announced on Tuesday.
Lobster dinner, Greek sea bass, sushi, and pupusas might not sound like a typical college dining experience, but for UMass Amherst students, it’s just a Monday night like any other.
“History in tasting,” wrote UMass Dining, the largest college dining program in the US, in a celebratory tweet. “Thank you to our students, restaurant staff and everyone who has supported us along the way.”
The Princeton Review‘s ranking based on student surveys. Her book The Best 389 Colleges has been published annually for 32 years and surveys 165,000 students about their experiences at the 389 featured schools.
“We have a great team of people who make this happen every day. Our culinary staff, our chefs, our wait staff, our waiters, student staff,” Garett DiStefano, head of dining at UMass Amherst, told Boston.com. “We are extremely proud.”
DiStefano said the key to retaining her seven-year title is building relationships with the student body.
Will it be celebrated? Black History Month, Hispanic Heritage Monthor diwaliDiStefano said UMass Dining appreciates the opportunity to learn about the backgrounds of the 50,000 students they serve every day, or a 2am dinner for Ramadan. And it definitely helps to have employees from over 23 countries.
“We have 20 different student ambassadors who represent freshmen through graduate students from a wide variety of backgrounds and help us formulate menus,” said DiStefano. “Culture is very important to us.”
UMass also makes sure it stays fresh, sourcing much of its food from 100 local farmers in western Massachusetts.
A calendar full of fun culinary events keeps students’ taste buds busy. Of a Mid-Autumn Festival in September for an All Treats and No Tricks Steak and Lobster Dinner for Halloween.
A $3,800 semester meal plan gives UMass Amherst students unlimited access to the award-winning dining room. The school also has aNo student goes hungry“Policies to Combat Food Insecurity.”
“We have to be innovative. We have to make a change. We have to find other ways to keep it interesting because for 15 weeks these students are with us,” DiStefano said. “And we have the opportunity to serve them every day.”
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