Author: Desroches, Rebecca

New Cafe Opens in Science 1 Building

Located in the new state-of-the-art Science 1 building, nanoByte café offers freshly brewed coffee, specialty coffee drinks, Boba milk tea, homemade pastries, daily soup/mac and cheese, and hot artisan sandwiches. Grab and go items like fresh salads, wraps, and a variety of snacks are also available. Stop by this semester and try some of their delicious offerings.




Dining Services Spring Updates

If you are new to campus or need a refresher on Dining FAQ visit

Hours – find dining hall & retail hours at or via the myUConn app.

Hours During Holidays & Breaks – visit for a spring semester document of hours during holidays & breaks.

Masking: Masking in the dining halls is highly recommended but not required.

Change Spring Semester Meal Plan: You have until Friday, February 3rd, 2023, to downgrade your spring semester meal plan; upgrade at any time

Up & Atom Cafe has permanently closed and nanoByte Cafe, located on the first floor of Science 1, will be opening on Tuesday, Jan 17th.

Stop by nanoByte Café this semester for some of their unique offerings such as bubble tea and small dessert “bytes” – hours will be M-F 7:30am-3:30pm.

Flex Passes and Points – not sure how or where to use them? Visit

Go Green in Spring with the Green Piece to-go container at the USM

Follow Dining on social at @uconndining to stay up to date for hours, specials, give-aways, pop-ups and more!

Stay tuned…Senior Slice is returning!

Meal plan options are available for faculty/staff, and students in on/off campus apartments

22nd Annual Culinary Olympics Winners

Dining Services hosted the 22nd Annual Culinary Olympics on Tuesday, January 10th at Putnam Dining Hall. This annual event shows off the skills of UConn Dining chefs in an individual recipe competition in the morning and then in a team-based “Chopped” style competition called "Boiling Point" in the afternoon. The event was free and open to the public. Twenty-one chefs participated in Boiling Point and 11 chefs participated in the recipe contest. Each event had a panel of judges from the food industry. 

Check out all the details, photos, recipes, and winners at

North Dining Hall takes home first place at the 22nd Annual Culinary Olympics Boiling Point Competition

North Dining Hall takes home first place at the 22nd Annual Culinary Olympics Boiling Point Competition

22nd Annual Culinary Olympics to take place January 10th


The Department of Dining Services will hold its annual Culinary Olympics on Tuesday, January 10, 2023. The event will take place at the Putnam Refectory located on the University of Connecticut, Storrs Campus. This annual event shows off the skills of UConn Dining chefs in an individual recipe competition in the morning and then in a team-based “Chopped” style competition in the afternoon. The event is free and open to the public.

The morning event, “Recipe Contest” judging, is scheduled to begin at approximately 10:00am on Tuesday. Recipes are prepared on site by UConn Dining chefs for 12 portions and must fall into one of the following categories:  Appetizer, Entrée, or Dessert. Recipes will then be judged on the following criteria: Creativity of Dish / Cooking Techniques / Use of Ingredients / Taste and Texture.

The afternoon event, “Boiling Point,” is scheduled to begin at approximately 12:00pm. This is our version of the “Chopped” 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 three 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. The set up for Boiling Point allows guests to get up close to the teams to watch as they strategize, prep, and get creative with their mystery ingredients.

Location address: Putnam Refectory – Dining Hall-2358 Alumni Dr, Storrs, CT 06269

Parking: Parking is free and available to the public for the duration of the event in nearby D lot. Handicap parking is available right outside of the dining hall. Printable Map | Full UConn Map

Event Contact: Robert Landolphi, Assistant Director Culinary


10:00am-12:00pm: Recipe Contest Judging
UConn Bakery Demos and Displays – stop by and sample some new bakery items for the upcoming semester
“Boiling Point” Competition
There will be an award presentation immediately following Boiling Point.

Recipe Contest Judges:

Judge: Chef Will Deason – Willimantic Brewing Company / Main Street Café, Willimantic, CT.

Judge: Chef Carl Stafford – Adjunct Professor of Hospitality Management, Manchester Community College

Judge: Ruth Hartunian-Alumbaugh – “Ravings and Cravings” 1400AM WILI / 95.3 FM

Boiling Point Judges:

Judge: Chef Christopher Prosperi – Chef-Owner, Metro Bis Restaurant.

Judge: Rand Richards Cooper – Independent novelist, longtime food and travel writer, and food critic.

Judge: Marc Hussey – Education Consultant Culinary & Hospitality, Connecticut Technical Education and Career System.

Judge: Alex Dino – Author and Corporate Executive Chef, Nestle Professional, Chef Alex on Linkedin

Follow #UConnDining on Social

Facebook: @UConnDiningServices
Instagram: @UConnDining
Twitter: @UConnDining

Winter Break Meal Plan Options

Fall residential meal plans end with dinner on Sunday, December 18th and winter break meal plans begin Monday, December 19th.

Meal plans are required for those that are assigned to a dorm or suite during winter break. If you are applying for housing during winter break you will need to select a 5- or 7-day meal on the housing form. Students assigned to an on-campus apartment as their winter break housing are not required to have a meal plan but can call Dining Services at 860-486-3128 to voluntarily purchase a plan. Click here to enlarge/download/print flyer.

McMahon Hours of Operation from Dec 19-Jan 14th

Breakfast: 7:00am-9:30
Lunch: 11:00-2:15
Dinner: 4:00-7:15

All Dining Services locations will  closed on December 25th, 2022 and January 1st, 2023. 

QUESTIONS? Call our office at 860-486-3128.

Executive Director of Dining Services Appointed


After conducting a comprehensive national search, the Division of Student Affairs has named Michael White as Executive Director of Dining Services effective November 4, 2022.

White holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from UConn and a Master of Arts in Industrial Organizational Psychology from the University of New Haven.  In his 26th year as a UConn employee, he brings an impressive base of UConn experience to this position, including serving as Interim Senior Associate Director of Dining Services for the past 1.5 years. Prior to that he served as the Associate Director of Dining Services, an Area Manager, General Manager of Retail Operations and Student Program Coordinator. He started out in 1994 as a student worker washing pots at Shippee Dining Hall and progressed through the ranks which allowed him to gain a thorough understanding of the role every level of Dining Services plays in delivering a quality experience to all customers.

In addition to leading various aspects of Dining Services, White also held the UCPEA roles of President from 2015 – 2021 and First Vice President of Collective Bargaining from 2009 – 2015. In these positions he was a SEBAC representative, member of the Health Cost Containment Committee, and the Vendor Advisory Committee. He also sits on myriad UConn committees including Strategic Visioning, Covid-19 Medical Services Workgroup, Vice Provost’s Committee on Food Insecurity, University Senate, and the Access & Accommodations Committee.

Mike lives in Norwich, CT with his wife Jill (also a UConn alum ‘97). He has twin daughters Teagan and Cassidy who attend UConn-Avery Point. Teagan is majoring in Psychology and Cassidy is majoring in Speech and Language Pathology.

The Division of Student Affairs appreciates the work of the search committee chaired by Tracey Roy (Interim Executive Director of Dining Services), administered by Samantha Courtois (Dining Services) and composed of David Clokey (Assistant Vice President, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs), Cheryl Radzvilowicz (Environmental Health & Safety), Padma Srimatkandada (Student Affairs Information Technology), and Isaac Barber (Director, Student Union).

Much thanks is given to Dining Services staff members who stepped up to fill interim roles while the search was being conducted including Tracey Roy as Interim Executive Director, Rob Landolphi as Associate Director of Residential Dining, and White as Interim Senior Associate Director. Also appreciated is the outstanding work of all the Dining Services staff who stepped up during this time of transition under Tracey’s interim leadership and continued to produce high-quality services that Dining is known for. 

Give A Meal on Nov 9 to Support Students First Fund

Dining Services will be hosting our bi-annual Give-A-Meal on Wednesday, November 9th. All eight residential dining halls will be participating from 4-7:15pm. Over the years this program has supported various on- and off-campus organizations.
How it works: when students with a meal plan come to dinner on the 9th they can donate an extra meal swipe to help out their fellow huskies. All proceeds from this event will go to support the Students First Fund, through the Division of Student Affairs, to assist students experiencing food insecurity.
More details about the Student First Fund can be found at
May be an image of text that says 'wednesday Nov. 9th in all dining Give wNLd A- Meal Donate Meal Swipe from 4-7:15pm! UCONN UNIVERSITYO CONNECTICUT DINING SERVICES'

UConn Bakery Thanksgiving Pie & Baked Goods Sale

Your favorite pie sale from UConn Bakery (Not just desserts) is back! This year new items have been added!! Check out all the pies, cheesecakes, dinner rolls, and sweet treats for your Thanksgiving table! Gluten-free pies and cheesecake are also available.

This sale is open to the campus community and the public.

Order today! The deadline to place orders is Friday, November 11th by 4pm. Order pick up is Wednesday, November 23rd from 8:30am-2:30pm at the bakery. Orders cannot be picked up prior to the 23rd. Our online store accepts debit/credit cards.

Order here: or you can also find the link to our store on the Bakery website at

If you prefer to pay personal check, you will need to call our office at 860-486-3128 during business hours to place an order. Please mail or hand deliver your payment to the Department of Dining Services 3384 Towers Loop Rd, U-4071, Storrs. We are located on the first floor of the Wade Building. Check payments must be received by 4pm on November 11th, 2022.

Staff Profile: Penni Corcoran

Current Position at UConn Dining Services: Validine Operator at McMahon for the last 5 years – validine operators greet all the students and guests at the dining hall and assist them with questions, tapping their OneCards, and meal purchase transactions.

What was your journey before coming to UConn? I graduated from nearby E.O. Smith High School, taught English in Brazil for 3 years, worked at CT Bank and Trust and also as a nurse aide.

What has been your journey at UConn Dining? I started at UConn in 1994 as a validine operator at Russell A&B. Other positions included receptionist at the Dining main office, receptionist at Jonathan’s Restaurant, chef assistant, location lead, and kitchen assistant. Although I retired from full-time employment, I am still at McMahon on a part time basis.

What do you love about your job? I love interacting with the students and visitors. I treat the kids like they are mine. I love listening to their stores and adventures. I am a huge sports fan and over the years I have bonded and kept in touch with a lot of the student athletes and other students on social media.

What is your favorite menu item at UConn? I love the food at McMahon! My favorite item is salmon and steamed veggies.

What are some fond memories you have of your time at UConn? We used to have a barbecue every week at Jonathan’s Restaurant. I liked helping serve and prepare food. My special memories are working with different types of people. South was my favorite dining hall. I trained a lot of kitchen assistants.

Celebrating Penni's birthday!