CWUDining NewsDining News’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>