Author: Ostrowski, Kevin

Dining Services Presents: A Bug Feast


What has more bioavailable iron than sirloin steak? Well, it turns out it is crickets according to a recent study. Questions about the nutritional value of insects have become common as we search for alternative sustainable sources of protein. Insects are not a bad option considering that we have at least 1,959 species of edible insects recorded around the world and they are indeed a popular food in many countries. Insects contain all essential amino acids and are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Mass rearing of insects for food can have a smaller environmental footprint due to their high reproductive rates and high feed-to-edible tissue conversion rates. Another reason to try insects – they are tasty! The diversity in edible insect types goes hand in hand with the assortment of flavors they provide. Come join UConn Dining Services and Professor Ana Legrand for an insect themed meal at Rome Hall and try a new food that in fact has been part of the human diet since ancient times.

If you and your friends are interested in enjoying a one of a kind experience, stop by the Union Central Exchange Convenience Store, on the second floor of the Student Union overlooking the Food Court. There you can sign up for Dining Services’ Pop-Up Dinner which will be held on Tuesday, March 12th at 6:00pm in Rome Commons Ballroom. Seating is limited to the first 100 guests. Reservations must be made by Friday, March 8th.This meal is free for those who want to sample a dinner of sustainable, high proteins and tasty food groups.


ALLERGY INFORMATION: If you are allergic to shellfish or crustaceans, you may also be allergic to insects.

Weather Closings at Dining Services

Due to the cancellation of classes beginning at noon, the Food for Thought Food Truck will not be running today. Also, UC Cafes (Bookworms, Wilbur’s, Up&Atom, Chem, and the Beanery) will be closing at 12:30pm. Please visit Union Street Market in the Student Union.

The truck will be back on Fairfield way this Thursday, February 14th from 11:00am – 2:00pm. UC Cafes will re-open Wednesday at 7:30am.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Dining Services to End Use of Plastic Bags

The University of Connecticut’s Department of Dining Services will be eliminating the use of plastic bags in its retail and grab & go venues. Effective, Monday, January 21st UConn Dining will discontinue the use of plastic shopping bags in support of the university’s ongoing sustainable efforts.   

This initiative, to discontinue the use of plastic shopping bags, was jump started by a subcommittee of UConnPIRG, a student run, nonprofit organization on the UConn Campus.  Their campaign, to phase out the use of plastic bags, was supported by student surveys and petitions. Beyond policy work, PIRG’s zero waste committee enhanced student awareness regarding the pitfalls of single-use plastics through educational lectures and movie screenings. These initiatives highlighted the deleterious impact of plastic bags on both environmental and public health.

Dining Services will be discontinuing the use of plastic bags in all of their retail operations as well as in their Grab & Go’s. In place of the use of the former plastic bag UConn Dining will be offering a brown paper, 100% recyclable and reusable bag at the cost of ten cents each. In addition, Dining will be offering reusable pocket size shopping bags for sale at cost at the Union Central Exchange located in the Student Union.

Dining Services will also be working with UConn PIRG this semester to establish drop off containers so that paper bags may be recycled utilized by other consumers at no cost to them.



For more information, read the story in UConn Today: 

Dining Services 2019 Culinary Competition

Dining Services 2019 Culinary Competition

You Are Invited to Attend!

The Department of Dining Services will hold its 19th annual Culinary Olympics on Tuesday January 15, 2019. The event will take place at the South Campus Rome Ballroom, located on the University of Connecticut, Storrs Campus.

The first event is the “Recipe Contest” that is scheduled to begin at approximately 8:30am on Tuesday. Recipes must be prepared on site for 12 portions, and must fall into one of the following categories: Appetizer/Entrée/Dessert. Recipes will then be judged on the following criteria: Clarity of Recipe/Creativity of Dish/Cooking Techniques/Use of Ingredients/Taste and Texture.

9:30am-10:30am: Chef DemonstrationGeorge Giotsas, Chef Owner “Little Mark’s Big BBQ, Vernon, CT.  Horiatikes Keftedes (Greek village style meatballs) / Horiatiki Salata (Greek village style Salad)

10:30am-1:30 pm: UConn Bakery Demos’ and Displays– Stop by and learn the art of decorating from our professional pastry chefs and bakers.

The final event is scheduled to begin at approximately 12:30pm and is called “BOILING POINT”. This is our version of the “Iron Chef” competition that will involve teams of three chefs representing the different dining facilities within the department. Each team will be presented with a mystery box of ingredients, and using miscellaneous items from our pantry, prepare three different Tapas (small food or appetizer) on each plate. Teams will have 75 minutes to prepare their dishes for 4 judges. Teams will then be scored on the following criteria: Creativity of Dish / Cooking Techniques / Use of Ingredients / Taste and Textures. (Teams are not allowed to bring ingredients, or use ingredients that are not supplied by competition)

“Award Presentation immediately following Boiling Point”


Schedule of Events

9:30am: Cooking Demonstration

  • George Giotsas, Chef Owner “Little Mark’s Big BBQ, Vernon, CT. Horiatikes Keftedes (Greek village style meatballs) / Horiatiki Salata (Greek village style Salad)-


10:30am-12:15pm: Recipe Contest Judging


12:30pm-4:45pm: Boiling Point Competition

  • Judge: Chef Christopher Prosperi, Chef-Owner, Metro Bis Restaurant.
  • Judge: Rand Richards Cooper, Novelist, Longtime Food and Travel writer and Food Critic with The New York Times.
  • Judge: Kristen Fritz, Public Relations, Strategic Marketing, Community Development, Social Networking
  • Judge: Jeannette Punsoni Dardenne, Public Relations, Strategic Marketing, Community Development, Social Networking

“Award Presentation immediately following Boiling Point”


For more information contact: Robert Landolphi, Assistant Director Culinary Development at