First new dining facility in 20 years celebrates its first quarter

Stanford students can’t major in cooking. But at the new Arrillaga Family Dining Commons, they can attend a Culinary Studio.

Thursday, to the strains of a student string quartet, staff members from Residential and Dining Enterprises (R&DE); Student Affairs; Land, Buildings and Real Estate and others sipped eggnog and hot chocolate, tasted Basque stuffed eggs created by celebrity chef Gerald Hirigoyen and admired the new facility before listening to a series of speakers who lauded the “unwavering, steadfast and dedicated support” of John Arrillaga.

Those words, from Shirley Everett, senior associate vice provost for R&DE, were typical of the praise heaped on Arrillaga, whose name graces more than one building on campus.

And he doesn’t just like sports, commented Eric Montell, executive director for Stanford Dining. “He’s a foodie; who knew?”

Everett in her remarks referred to an unusual problem, which earlier had appeared on the pages of the Stanford Daily: The dining commons was too popular at first, and the staff and kitchens were overwhelmed.

“I said a prayer,” she told the crowd. “I wanted the students to come, but I also wanted them to eat in their home dining facility. And God answered my prayer, little by little.”

According to the Daily, Stanford Dining mounted a campaign in October to send students back to their own dining halls, which seems to have worked.

Read more here.