Virginia Tech’s Dining Services was recently awarded a grand prize Loyal E. Horton award and a gold medal in the Residential Dining Special Event category by the National Association of College and University Food Services for its Alice in Wonderland dinner. 

An honorable mention was also given for the Virginia Harvest Celebration dinner, inspired by Virginia Tech’s 2011 Common Book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life."

The grand prize Loyal E. Horton award was presented at the National Association of College and University Food Services 53rd national conference, held July 16 in Dallas, Texas. The Loyal E. Horton awards contest, a highly competitive and prestigious peer recognition program, is open to all 550 higher education institutions that are members of the association. Loyal E. Horton grand-prize winners are selected from each category’s gold award winners.

Virginia Tech holds nearly 40 special dining events throughout the school year to add interesting and educational experiences to the regular dining schedule. Dining Services has earned 38 Loyal E. Horton awards since 1992, in addition to awards from various industry organizations for programs, facilities, menus, and sales. 

On April 8, 2010, the Dining Services staff at D2 dining center paid homage to Lewis Carroll’s classic tale "Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland" with the grand prize and gold medal award-winning Alice in Wonderland dinner. The event featured a Victorian-inspired menu, elaborate settings, staff members dressed as characters from the story, and games. 

The Virginia Harvest Celebration dinner accompanied a presentation by Barbara Kingsolver and Steven L. Hopp, authors of "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," in Burruss Hall Auditorium on Sept. 14, 2010. The dinner showcased the late-summer harvest in Southwest Virginia, featuring fresh seasonal vegetables from the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm and locally raised beef, pork, and lamb. It gave students the opportunity to experience dining inspired by local sustainable food operations like those mentioned in the book and was designed to support the Common Book curricula taught in classrooms in the fall.



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