On The Yard


    U.S. Naval Academy Catering Wins Coveted NACUFS Loyal E. Horton Dining Award

    By Bill the Goat on August 18, 2023

    U.S. Naval Academy Catering Wins Coveted NACUFS Loyal E. Horton Dining Award

    For many years, U.S. Naval Academy Catering’s extraordinary meals and services have been a huge draw for those planning events—from corporate conferences to weddings, to retirements, to a multitude of other events. A much-admired department in the Naval Academy Business Services Division (NABSD), this group was recently honored with another feather in its chef’s cap when it received a Bronze Award for “Catering—Special Event” from the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS), for their NACUFS 2023 Loyal E. Horton Dining Award. To those who have experienced their hospitality, this comes as a well-deserved accolade—and no surprise.



    Rising to the Top of Their Field

    This year saw a strong group of contenders vying for the coveted award, and NACUFS Chief Executive Officer, Robert Nelson, made this clear when he noted, “In honoring recipients of the NACUFS 2023 Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards, we acknowledge the tireless efforts and unwavering dedication of the exceptional individuals and teams who elevate the standard of campus dining across North America. Their innovative approaches and unparalleled passion for culinary excellence demonstrate the unequivocal value of campus dining, along with the community, health and well-being it fosters among college students. We proudly congratulate our winners on their outstanding achievements.” 


    On July 22, 2023, USNA Catering received their award at the NACUFS National Conference, which was held in Baltimore, Maryland, from July 19th through July 22nd. This award honors NACUFS founder, past president and well respected innovator, Loyal E. Horton. Started in 1958 by a group of U.S. college and university foodservice professionals, NACUFS is dedicated to its mission to support and promote excellence in collegiate dining by providing members with the programs and resources they need to excel. The organization boasts members from the U.S., Canada, UK and more, with an impressive list spanning private colleges to large public universities, including two-year and four-year institutions. They also include members that perform in a wide range of industries, among them food and equipment manufacturers, distributors, brokers, foodservice support companies, councils, boards, trade associations, advisory commissions and other professional groups. 


    For the awards, NACUFS North American member institutions competed in six different categories: Residential Dining Concepts, Residential Dining Facility, Residential Dining—Special Event, Retail Sales—Single Concept/Multiple Concepts/Marketplace, Catering—Special Event and Catering—Online Menu. Beyond recognizing excellent work in the field, these awards opened up opportunities for collegiate dining organizations to share ideas and creative presentations, which helps to elevate the entire food services field. To be considered, applicants needed to show judges they could produce exceptional menus, presentations, special event planning and new dining concepts. Six judges and a committee chair reviewed all entries and awarded gold, silver and bronze in each category. The University of Michigan and Pennsylvania State University were also honored with Bronze for Catering—Special Event.



    Related: Military Salute 2023 — USNA’s Georges Labaki Really Cooks for Navy



    A Hard-Earned Honor for USNA

    Phillip R. Allison, Deputy Director, NABSD, noted the award’s significance and highlighted what an achievement it is for the group, “This recognition from NACUFS of the Loyal E. Horton Bronze Award for Catering Special Events is a testament to the commitment and dedication the Naval Academy Business Services Division’s Catering Team has to the mission of the United States Naval Academy.” He attributed the honor to their dedication to the craft, “They have worked tirelessly to develop a first-class catering operation in support of our campus community. It is so rewarding to see their efforts recognized by our peers within NACUFS and we look forward to seeing them continue to grow and excel in support of USNA.” 

    Naval Academy Catering supports the Naval Academy Club and a variety of special venues throughout the Yard. “Our catering team aspires to provide guests with a superb experience. We take pride in offering unparalleled customer service and exquisite cuisine to our guests and can accommodate events such as conferences, weddings, rehearsal dinners, retirements and memorials; focusing on elegance, quality and value,” their website notes. Loyal patrons agree.



    Taste the Difference and Make a Difference

    You can experience their award-winning food and services at venues across the Yard. If you’re planning a corporate or family event, we encourage you to reach out to the catering team to review their myriad of exciting options at 410-293-2610 or catering@usna.edu. When you engage Naval Academy Catering, shop on the Yard and take USNA Tours, you’re also giving back to the midshipmen who give their all for our freedom. The Naval Academy Business Services Division supports the Brigade of Midshipmen by donating our profits from our 20 business units that allow our mids to be successful, well rounded future leaders. We support a variety of extracurricular activities such as cultural arts, theater, music, club sports, and many other club activities to further develop midshipmen morally, mentally and physically. Not only will you experience the difference that is Naval Academy Catering, but you’ll be making a big difference too. Come and see why they’ve earned this accolade.


    Experience USNA Catering


    Bill the Goat
    Written by Bill the Goat | August 18, 2023


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