Culinary Excellence

Culinary Excellence

Culinary Excellence is at the core of R&DE Stanford Dining’s programs and purpose. By providing a high-quality dining experience centered on delicious, safe, sustainable and nutritious food, we support the wellbeing of students, faculty and staff and help build community, friendship, and lasting memories over shared meals.

Stanford Dining serves 12,000 meals every day and our menus reflect the diversity of cultures, preferences and dietary needs that make the Stanford community special. We believe that food can be a great teacher and strive to introduce our students to new foods and food experiences that augment their education and expand their worldview. In partnership with Residential Education, we integrate a number of culturally inspired food concepts and culinary celebrations into the residential experience.

Our menu development is guided by the Culinary Institute of America and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Menus of Change Principles for Healthy, Sustainable Menus, which translate insights from public health, environmental stewardship and social responsibility into practical guidance for the foodservice industry and the culinary profession. R&DE Stanford Dining is a co-founder and co-leader of the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative, a nationwide network of forward-thinking scholars, food service leaders, executive chefs, and administrators for colleges and universities who are accelerating efforts to move people toward healthier, more sustainable, and delicious foods using evidence-based research, education, and innovation.

MCURC Principles

Meet the Chefs of R&DE Stanford Dining

Culinary Leadership Team in the Dining Halls

Get to know the talented culinary team of R&DE Stanford Dining. These chefs are dedicated to inspiring students with new flavors, enticing recipes and expertly crafted dishes. Their expertise has helped to create many student favorites!

Our chefs are passionate about delicious food- cooking it, savoring it and sharing it with students. They develop tried-and-true recipes and create new food trends alike. We're excited to have them on board as our chefs exude a passion for great food, their creativity is unlimited, and they are educators at heart.

Welcome to our kitchen. It's here where our chefs discover the ways that - beyond aroma and flavor - food can create great atmosphere, fun experiences and community building. It's what drives our team to bring students delicious food at each and every meal. When it comes down to it, the relationships our chefs have with each student is driven by their passion to provide all students with great food experiences.

Each of our dining halls is led by an Executive Chef and at least one Sous Chef who provide a wide range of culinary expertise and training to their teams. Our chefs work collaboratively to design menus that are exciting, diverse, and in support of our Eat Well @Stanford program, One Plate, One Planet - Sustainable Food program, and Food Safety program.

Christina Betondo

Associate Director of Culinary Excellence
cbetondo@stanford.edu

Since joining R&DE Stanford Dining in 2013, Christina Betondo has been a leader in the department, from supporting the needs of Stanford Dining and R&DE Stanford Hospitality & Auxiliaries as Executive Chef of the Central Production Kitchen, to co-creating the Stanford Flavor Lab, and inspiring the next generation of culinarians in the Teaching Kitchen @Stanford.

As Assistant Director of Culinary Excellence, she oversees culinary innovation and recipe development for Stanford Dining - showcasing the many talents of the Stanford Dining chef team and empowering them to continuously elevate the dining experience at Stanford.

She is dedicated to supporting the wide range of dietary needs in the Stanford community, and enhancing the residential experience for students by providing the highest quality dining programs and services.

"One of our primary goals in R&DE Stanford Dining is to create culinary experiences for students that highlight delicious, healthy and sustainable foods. Leading the entire R&DE Stanford Dining culinary team, made up of incredibly talented chefs, provides me with many heartwarming opportunities to engage with students in the process of developing new and exciting menus. Student feedback is an essential part of our process as students are the reason we are here. I always welcome suggestions, ideas or feedback on our menu, or on special dishes and cuisines that help students feel that Stanford is their home” says Christina.


Raul Lacara

Sr. Associate Director of Schwab Executive Services
rlacara@stanford.edu 

Raul joined R&DE Stanford Dining in 1999 as Executive Chef of Schwab Executive Dining. Since then, Raul has constantly innovated to position Schwab at the forefront of university executive dining. Under Raul’s leadership, the Financial Times has rated Stanford University's executive dining program the finest in the world most years since 2007.


 

Jason Sanchez

Assistant Director/Executive Chef of Central Production Kitchen
jaychez@stanford.edu

After finishing business school at the University of Guadalajara, Jason traveled through Europe for a few months and developed a taste for foreign cuisine. He worked briefly in kitchens in Barcelona, Dublin, London, Rome, and Paris. Upon returning to the U.S., Jason took a job cooking at Tuscan Grill Kitchen in Palm Springs, CA, before heading to the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. After graduating from culinary school, he worked at Tres Agaves in San Francisco, and at the Slanted Door Group’s Commissary Production Kitchen producing for the six restaurants and catering department in the group.


 

Terry Braggs

Terry Braggs

Executive Chef
braggs21@stanford.edu

"Great, quality food creates community building experiences for all."

My personal mantra is to have fun, be mindful and work really hard. I like to think that it comes out through the food I prepare, taking delicious, sustainable ingredients and being intentional about every step of the process to create a meal.

Find me in Neighbordhood R

Mychel Brewster

Mychel Brewster

Executive Chef
mychelb@stanford.edu

"We prepare meals that are diverse and inclusive to meet all of our students' needs."

Our students have a wide variety of dietary wants and needs. There is no better feeling than being able to provide a meal that fits those after a long day of studies. I truly find joy in seeing their reactions to the food we provide.

Find me in Neighbordhoods S & T

      

Daniel Donguines

Daniel Donguines

Executive Chef
chefdan@stanford.edu

"The dining hall are an oasis for students to take a break from their day over a great meal."

We hold Stanford Dining to the highest standard of excellence. By having access to fellow chefs with so many different backgrounds, I draw on their skills and expertise to elevate my own meals to create unique culinary experiences.

Find me in Neighbordhood O

Junelle Fronda

Junelle Fronda

Executive Chef
jfronda@stanford.edu 

"All are welcome at our table."

We definitely try to hit all the marks: local, seasonal, diverse. Our food is very inclusive, because comfort food is different all around the world, and we try to focus on what will make a student feel happy when they come to the dining hall.

Find me in Neighbordhood F

      

Joe Guinto

Joe Guinto

Senior Executive Chef
gchef703@stanford.edu 

"We make powerful connections with students through our love of delicious food."

When I can provide food that reminds a student of home or evokes a special memory, that just reinforces the reason I do what I do. If I can provide that memory through food — that reprieve from stress and schoolwork — to even one student, it makes all the work of that day worth it.

Find me in EVGR Dining & Athletic Dining

Anthony Gutierrez

Anthony Gutierrez

Executive Chef
anthony8@stanford.edu

"We continue to raise the bar on food experiences for our students."

It’s easy to put your food down and just start eating, but it should be an experience: really taste the different flavors and sit with the thoughts and emotions that come from that meal. Being intentional about your eating will only carry over to other aspects of life and elevate that, too.

Find me in Neighbordhood A

      

Lee Levig

Lee Levig

Executive Chef

"Great food fuels the body and soul."

I love traditional fare, but I also love an element of surprise in a dish as well. If you're not surprised, laughing, and smiling during and after your meal, then I didn't do my job.

Find me in Neighbordhood D

Tami Lin

Tami Lin

Senior Executive Chef
tamilin@stanford.edu

"We can learn so much about each through great food experiences."

I can’t think of anything people love more than food. It's such a powerful bonding experience to eat together and share ideas, experiences, and even differences. Food unifies!

Find me in Neighbordhood N

          

Prioritizing Gender Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Connection to the Ethnic Theme Houses

Stanford Dining utilizes our dining program as a platform to recognize a diversity of chefs who influence and educate our culinary team and students. Together we are creating critically important food experiences and educational opportunities in support of Stanford's ethnic theme houses.

Red Skillet Kitchen @ Lakeside

inspired by Tanya Holland

Chef Tanya Holland of Oakland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen and Bravo Top Chef alum brings her inventive take on modern soul food to Red Skillet Kitchen at Lakeside Dining. Students can enjoy Tanya's interpretations of soul food starring southern classics such as chicken and waffles, smoked meats, grits and greens along with a diversity of cuisine from Africa and the Caribbean. Chef Tanya has been recognized for her many talents by O Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Travel & Leisure among other publications, and The City of Oakland declared June 5th, 2012 as Tanya Holland Day for her "Significant Role in Creating Community and Establishing Oakland as a Culinary Center".

Cardinal Sage @ Stern (Casa Zapata)

inspired by Iliana de la Vega

Prominent Mexican-born Chef Iliana de la Vega of Austin’s celebrated El Naranjo restaurant, incorporates her innovative Oaxacan flavors into the menu at Cardinal Sage, located at Stern Dining. The menus offer a range of modern Mexican favorites featuring slow-marinated meats, fresh house-made salsas, and flavorful rice and bean dishes cooked from scratch. In addition to sharing the cuisine of her heritage (El Naranjo has been named “the only real Mexican restaurant in Texas” by local press), Chef Iliana has been granted the prestigious Ohtli award in recognition for her work with the Hispanic population and for furthering Mexican gastronomy.

Star Ginger @ Wilbur (Okada)

inspired by Mai Pham

Nationally-acclaimed Chef Mai Pham of Sacramento’s Lemon Grass Kitchen and Star Ginger showcases her fresh Southeast Asian cuisine at Wilbur Dining’s Star Ginger. Menus feature the bright flavors of Vietnam, Thailand, and beyond, from hearty authentic Thai curries and grilled meats to fresh, flavorful Vietnamese noodle soups and salads. Chef Mai is a pioneer in promoting Vietnamese culture and cuisine in the US and she has been featured by Martha Stewart, NPR and the Food Network, as well as authoring multiple cookbooks on Vietnamese and Thai cooking.

Stanford Dining Training

Developing a Talented Culinary Team

We are committed to growing the next generation of culinary leaders at Stanford through the Training for Culinary Excellence Program, which provides our Food Service Workers with the skills necessary to be successful at the next food service workers level. Stanford Dining also provides career training and apprenticeships for aspiring Sous Chefs and Executive Chefs.

We regularly showcase the unique cooking styles and exceptional skills of our executive chef team through a number of culinary programs, and more spontaneous chef pop-ups. Both allow the chefs to focus on intense flavors, high-quality ingredients, and their immense talent and creativity.