CWUDining NewsDining News Dining Services welcomes new assistant director, 14 Nov 2019 10:07:00<p><img alt="" src="/dining/sites/" style="width: 100px; height: 100px; float: left; margin: 0px 30px 30px 0px;" />CWU Dining Services recently hired Denise Payton as its new assistant director. She joins the CWU community after working for eight years at Oregon State University (OSU).</p> <p>Payton holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education from OSU and has served in numerous capacities at various organizations. <a href="/dining/"><strong>Read More </strong></a></p> New campus sous chef joins CWU Dining Services team, 30 Oct 2019 16:27:31<p><img alt="" src="/dining/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 134px;" /></p> <p>CWU Dining Services has made another valuable addition to its organization. Jack Mazzacavallo joined the culinary team this fall as the campus sous chef, having worked most recently at the prestigious Seattle restaurant, Copine.</p> <p><a href="">Read more</a></p> CWU Dining Services expands options to offer more freshness, variety, 23 Oct 2019 08:41:56<p>CWU Dining Services has undergone a series of forward-looking changes over the past year, and the process won&rsquo;t be slowing down anytime soon.</p> <p><img alt="Panda" src="" style="width: 800px; height: 526px;" /></p> <p>Since coming on board last fall, Director of Dining Services Dean Masuccio has been busy implementing his long-term vision for the department, hiring a campus executive chef (Joe Ritchie) and campus sous chef (Jack Mazzacavallo), establishing new nutrition standards, developing a sustainability focus, and opening a new dining hall.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s just a taste of what&rsquo;s been going on.</p> <p><a href=""><strong>Read more...</strong></a></p> <p>&nbsp; <p>Monday, October 21, 2019</p> </p> CWU Catering Chef Wins Bronze Medal at Regional Culinary Challenge, 25 Apr 2019 08:27:34<p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">Central Washington University Catering Chef Darren Macri recently earned a bronze medal at </span><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">the National Association of College and University Food Services’ (NACUFS) 2019 Pacific Regional Culinary Challenge in Spokane.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;">Macri represented CWU Dining Services and competed against 11 chefs from higher education institutions across the United States and the Pacific region.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><img alt="Darren Macri Competition" src="/dining/sites/" style="width: 400px; height: 314px; float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-left: 10px;"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">Scoring for the competition was based on a tiered point system, where the point bracket determined whether a contestant received a medal. Four chefs received silver medals while eight earned bronze.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">“One of the judges did mention that they rarely give out a gold medal,” Macri noted. The contestant with the highest score from the regional competition advanced to participate in the NACUFS national culinary challenge, which will take place this July at the NACUFS national conference in Denver, CO.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">Dean Masuccio, the Director of CWU Dining Services, believes that the value this experience brings to the CWU Dining program is multi-faceted.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">“For Darren, it provides an opportunity to be involved with others in the university food services world,” he said. “It also gives him an opportunity to be involved with the American Culinary Federation judges and to receive valuable critique that can be brought back to our campus and used to influence our culinary program.”</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">Masuccio also believes that this type of participation allows Dining Services to be recognized for excellence at the regional and national level.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">“These are culinarians who are preparing the food on our campus that our students eat every day, bringing recognition to our culinary team and adding value to our program,” he continued.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">“My biggest take-away is coming back here and wanting my kitchen to have more of that atmosphere of being surrounded by my peers,” Macri said. “There’s no reason we can’t strive for more greatness.”</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">Masuccio will encourage his staff to participate in the future: “I look forward to having a competitor at next year’s regional NACUFS competition in Colorado Springs.”</span></p><p class="MsoNormal">March 25, 2019</p></p class="MsoNormal"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif; mso-fareast-font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="font-size:11.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal">CWU Catering Chef Will Compete in Regional Culinary Challenge, 21 Mar 2019 15:26:22<p><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"><img alt="Darren Macri Headshot" src="/dining/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 249px; float: right;"></span><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">Darren Macri, Central Washington University’s Catering Chef, has been selected to compete in the National Association of College and University Food Services’ (NACUFS) 2019 Pacific Regional Culinary Challenge.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">Macri will travel to Spokane in early April to face-off against some of the region’s best and brightest university chefs in a live competition. Contestants will be judged based on their organization, cooking skills, culinary technique, taste, and style.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">“Chefs in the competition will prepare their entrée within a strict timeframe,” noted Joseph Pearson, executive director of CWU’s Auxiliary Enterprises, which includes the university’s dining services. “They’ve been given some of the ingredients to incorporate in their dishes including a mandatory protein, which is venison saddle.”</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">Winners of each of the six NACUFS regional competitions will square off at the organization’s national conference, to be held in Denver, Colorado, in July, for gold, silver, and bronze medals before a live audience of college and university foodservice professionals, industry experts, and American Culinary Federation judges.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><img alt="Dish submitted" src="/dining/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 133px; float: left;"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">“We’re honored that Chef Macri has been invited to compete in the challenge and know he’ll do a great job representing the university,” Pearson added.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">Macri has served as CWU’s catering and conference chef since 2012. He is a CWU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in music, specializing in percussion performance.</span></p><p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-right:.8in"><span style="mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif">Media contact: Richard Moreno, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-2714, <a href=""></a>.</span></p></span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal"></span style="mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-right:.8in"></span style="mso-bidi-font-size: 12.0pt;font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,sans-serif"></a href="">CWU’s Dining Services Welcomes New Campus Executive Chef, 10 Jan 2019 08:26:38<p><img alt="Chef Joe Ritchie headshot" src="/dining/sites/" style="width: 275px; margin: 3px; float: right; height: 413px;">Central Washington University has hired Joe Ritchie to serve as Campus Executive Chef. Ritchie joins CWU’s Dining Services team with impressive culinary credentials, working most recently at the Four Seasons in Seattle, Washington.</p><p>Ritchie, who begins his new position in mid-January, said he was drawn to the job at Central because of the exciting challenge it presents: providing new, exciting, and relevant dining options to the campus community.</p><p>“His arrival prepares us for our upcoming journey of revamping and elevating our existing dining program,” noted Dean Masuccio, Director of Dining Services at CWU. “Joe’s extensive culinary experience and high-caliber culinary talent will lead our program’s efforts, and will allow us to provide the culinary experiences that current and future CWU Wildcats expect.”</p><p>Ritchie grew up in Washington’s Snoqualmie Valley. “My first jobs were harvesting blueberries in the shadow of Mt. Si and flipping burgers at the local ski lodge,” he recalled.</p><p>After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Arizona in 2001, he returned to the Northwest in 2002 to work at the prestigious Herbfarm Restaurant, where he developed an appreciation for quality local ingredients and Washington wines.</p><p>In 2006, Ritchie moved to the Rocky Mountains for an Executive Chef role at Grouse Mountain Grill, a fine dining restaurant at Beaver Creek resort. In 2009, he became the executive chef at Cave B Inn in Quincy, Washington, where he worked closely with the winemaker to create noteworthy menus. He later returned to Seattle to run the kitchen at Poppy Restaurant, Seattle’s award-winning Thali restaurant. After a stint at California’s two-Michelin star restaurant Cyrus in Healdsburg, Ritchie again headed back home to Washington State.</p><p>Ritchie joined Ethan Stowell Restaurants in 2013 as the opening chef of Mkt restaurant. The tiny thirty seat restaurant received many accolades and garnered national attention under Ritchie’s guidance. In 2015, Ritchie joined Four Seasons and opened Goldfinch Tavern, the critically acclaimed restaurant at Four Seasons Seattle.<br><br>When he is not in the kitchen, Ritchie is likely out on his sister’s organic ranch in Ellensburg, Washington, exploring in the mountains, or teaching his two young daughters the ways of the kitchen.</p><p>“I find culinary inspiration in everything, from travel, to tradition, to nature,” he said.</p><p>Media contact: Emilie Hobert, Department of Auxiliary Enterprises, 509-963-2428, <a href=""></a>.</p><p>Wednesday, January 9, 2019</p></br></br></a href="">CWU Hires New Dining Services Director, 29 Aug 2018 12:34:53<p><img alt="Dean Masuccio, CWU's new director of Dining Services." src="" style="width: 350px; height: 435px; margin: 3px; float: right;">When fall quarter classes get underway next month at CWU, hungry students know they will have access to a wide range of tasty dining options throughout campus. What they may not know is that someone different is now in charge of making sure that remains the case.</p><p>Dean Masuccio, CWU's new director of Dining Services, will start on September 17, just two days ahead of the beginning of the 2018-19 university academic year.</p><p>“When I learned about the position and the future vision for Central's dining program it really intrigued me,” he offered as a reason he applied. “It's a great chance to use what I've learned over my career, while contributing to new developments and operations, and having similar opportunities there.”</p><p>Masuccio has more than 25 years of hospitality-industry experience, 18 of them working within Housing and Food Services at the University of Washington. During his tenure in Seattle, he has held a variety of leadership positions, most recently as the Business Operations administrator for UW Dining where, for the past four years, he has managed a variety of aspects of an operation that handles in excess of 30,000 daily transactions.</p><p>While new to CWU, Masuccio is familiar with Ellensburg, which is his hometown. A 1993 graduate of Ellensburg High School, he actually began his career in hospitality as a dishwasher at a local restaurant.</p><p>“The pace of life in Ellensburg and a change in scenery is something I was excited to pursue, for myself, and for my family,” he added, about seeking the CWU position.</p><p>In terms of scenery, his journey has already taken him to some of the world's top culinary regions.</p><p>“I took about a year-and-a-half, in two separate trips, and spent some time in Italy immersed in the culture, visiting family, traveling, touring, and eating a lot of great food,” he noted.</p><p>Masuccio succeeds Dan Layman, who worked within university dining for 36 years, including as the department's senior purchasing manager, senior retail manager, assistant to the director, and director for the last 11 years.</p><p>Under Layman's direction, CWU Dining Services began providing more choices in cuisine and hours of operation, and he guided the establishment of the student-centered food court in the Student Union and Recreation Center.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1487,</p>CWU Dining Services Honored by Freshens Corporation, 16 May 2017 14:56:34<p><img alt="" src="/dining/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 75px; margin: 3px; float: right;">The Freshens Corporation, which manufactures the popular Freshens’ Smoothies, recently honored Central Washington University’s Dining Services for being a valuable partner for more than 15 years.</p><p>The company, which has been in operation for more than 30 years, made a donation to the Fisher House, a fund for injured and disabled veterans, on behalf of CWU. Additionally, the company presented Dining Services with a plaque and a video thanking it for its long-time patronage.</p><p>Freshens only recognized three schools on the West Coast, including the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Washington, and CWU.</p>