Catering Excellence

Dining services' InStyle Catering team at the FEC 50th Anniversary Gala.
By Brittney Bomnin

Dining services' InStyle Catering team at the FEC 50th Anniversary Gala.

Catering Excellence

By Brittney Bomnin
UM dining services team earns national recognition for special event catering.

The University of Miami was recognized at the National Association of College and University Food Services’ (NACUFS) annual conference for earning the 2018 Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards Grand Prize in the special event catering category. As part of the Chartwells Higher Education program at the U, UM Dining’s InStyle Catering team submitted an event they executed for the Federation of Cuban Students (FEC) at the Shalala Student Center in 2017. The celebration commemorated the student organization’s 50th anniversary and launch of the Federación de Estudiantes Cubanos Endowed Scholarship, which was established to provide aid to a UM student that presents a financial need and is involved in the campus community.

“We felt the FEC gala had an amazing purpose, story, and deserved to be recognized; not just for the food and décor, but for the meaning behind the event,” said director of catering Wendy Franklin. “We worked closely in collaboration with FEC students to develop the theme and properly represent their organization.”

Pride in Cuban culture was apparent in every detail—from invitations and sponsorship packets to decor and food presentation—and made the perfect backdrop for the celebration, which incorporated live palm trees and 300 feet of string lights that transformed the indoor ballroom into a Cuban-inspired paradise. Judging was based on creativity, atmosphere, excitement, and success of the event.

 

“Winning this award was such an incredible accomplishment and great honor,” said Franklin. “It validates all the hard work, dedication and heart that went into making the gala perfect for FEC and all the events we cater for the University.”

While the FEC gala was only event entered in this year’s contest, it’s not the first time UM was recognized by NACUFS. The University of Miami took home bronze for special event catering in 2016 for the inauguration of President Julio Frenk.

The NACUFS Loyal E. Horton Award celebrates exemplary menus, presentations, special event planning, and new dining concepts, and provides an avenue for sharing ideas and creative presentations in campus dining services.  As a member of NACUFS for the last four years, UM Dining has been able to stay on top of the latest news and innovation in the college and university foodservice industry.


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