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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

Assistant 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.


 

Terry Braggs

Terry Braggs

Executive Chef
braggs21@stanford.edu

Terry Braggs joined R&DE Stanford Dining in February 2021. He has over 15 years of culinary experience, including owning a catering company. His favorite recipe is “Surf n Turf” Lasagna, which consists of dungeness crab meat, braised short ribs, and a creamy herb-tomato sauce. “The first time I made this dish I got so excited after tasting it that I couldn’t help but dance and holler! I love when a recipe turns out even better than the way I imagined it!” In his new role as Executive Chef of Lakeside Dining, Terry is excited to bring his unique and mindful approach to food to Stanford students. “I want to connect with the students and get them to be mindful about the food they are eating,” he said. “These are the top minds of tomorrow. If I can share my experience with food with them and get them to look at food in a more mindful way, that is a wonderful thing.”

Mychel Brewster

Mychel Brewster

Acting Executive Chef
mychelb@stanford.edu

Mychel joined R&DE Stanford Dining in March 2018. Crafting any Japanese-inspired meal ignites his passion, especially a recent recipe of Katsu curry, which has become a fast favorite. He strives to make each and every student feel like they are the center of our universe, because, as he says, they are. "There is no better feeling than interacting with the students and seeing the impact we can have on their day, their time at Stanford, and hopefully the rest of their lives," said Mychel.

 

 

 

      

Daniel Donguines

Daniel Donguines

Executive Chef
chefdan@stanford.edu

Daniel has been working with R&DE since 2017. His favorite recipe is a family tradition. These stuffed mushrooms are a staple of his family holiday dinners. Daniel enjoys making great food for the students. He says, "I like making dishes to bring joy but also allow them to experience the dining hall as an oasis from their studies."

Junelle Fronda

Junelle Fronda

Executive Chef
jfronda@stanford.edu 

Junelle creates dishes that are wholesome, craveable, and creative. “I want to encourage mindful eating and deliver ‘brain food’ to fuel the students’ studies,” she says. She especially enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of world cuisine with both students and fellow culinary staff.

      

Joe Guinto

Joe Guinto

Executive Chef
gchef703@stanford.edu 

In 2003, Joe joined R&DE Stanford Dining as a member of the Schwab Executive Dining culinary team before becoming Executive Chef at Gerhard Casper. For him, being a chef is about “serving as a mentor to others, and bringing people together over a meal.” Joe’s “Finding Flounder” dish placed Silver at the 2012 NACUFS National Culinary Competition, and within Stanford he holds the Ramen Wars’ Ramen Trophy for his Pork Belly Ramen with Slow-Braised Tea Egg. Joe was also a member of the Schwab team that was awarded the Keith L. Guy Award for Exemplary Service in Residential & Dining Enterprises 2008.

 

Anthony Gutierrez

Anthony Gutierrez

Executive Chef
anthony8@stanford.edu

For a decade Anthony served as executive on-site chef for Taste Catering & Event Planning, where he catered as many as five upscale events per day. There he prepared regional cuisines as varied as Vietnamese, Moroccan, Japanese, and Latin American, and served as Catering Consultant Chef for industry giants such as Thomas Keller, Jamie Oliver, Jan Birnbaum, and Nancy Oakes. Having executed large scale catering events, Anthony used this skill-set to entertain distinguished guests of the Bohemian Grove as a Private Chef. He also served as Executive Chef for the Kimpton Group’s Blue Mermaid, and helped open Monaco Pictures, a luxury cinema concept in Alabama. As Executive Chef of Stern Dining, Anthony is enthusiastic about Stanford Dining’s commitment to sustainability.

      

David Iott

David Iott

Culinary Educator & Training Executive Chef
davidi@stanford.edu

David joined Stanford University in 2004, and during his time with the University, he has been involved in the development of many leading-edge culinary initiatives on campus. David was also the opening Executive Chef at the university’s newest and largest dining facility, Arrillaga Family Dining Commons, which also houses the Central Production Kitchen for the 11 dining halls on campus and several of its cafes. 0Currently, David is the Executive Chef and Culinary Educator at the Teaching Kitchen @ Stanford, which is home to a groundbreaking cooking education program that launched in January 2015. In this role, David has developed curriculum and conducted cooking classes for more than 300 Stanford students in support of the academic mission of the University.

Tami Lin

Executive Chef
tamilin@stanford.edu

This is Tami's second time around with Stanford. Prior to rejoining the culinary team in January 2019, she spent 3 years in R&DE Stanford Dining from 2014 to 2017. She enjoys the daily interactions with the students and putting a smile on their face with her food. She loves to create recipes with braised meat and cook anything Italian.   

 

 

 

 

      

Jason Sanchez

Jason Sanchez

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.

Anne Alvero

Anne Alvero

Sous Chef
akalvero@stanford.edu 

Anne joined the R&DE Stanford Dining team in October 2019. Her favorite parts about making food for students is creating food that might introduce someone to something new or evoke memories of childhood or home. She loves to make Zuppa di Ceci e Vongole, or chickpea and clam soup.  Not only because this recipe is delicious, but it also marks a career highlight she made it for a special dinner hosted by UCSF that had a guest list of culinary giants such as Alice Waters, Gary Danko and Nancy Oakes.

 

      

Chris Canio

Chris Canio

Sous Chef
ccanio@stanford.edu

After graduating from the California Culinary Academy (CCA), Chris was recruited for an internship program @ Schwab Executive Dining with Chef Raul Lacara, which led to a full-time position with R&DE Stanford Dining in November 2007. Chris worked his way up through the ranks and he was promoted to sous chef in 2018 upon completing the Sous Chef Apprenticeship Program. Chris loves the teamwork and family atmosphere of the kitchen, and interacting with students. He’s passionate about the hospitality service industry, and believes his psychology background has helped him to understand the culture of Stanford, the staff and students.

Israel Chavez

Israel Chavez

Sous Chef
ichavez@stanford.edu

R&DE Stanford Dining’s very own Israel Chavez Jr., sous chef with R&DE Schwab Executive Services, won a 2018 gold medal in the National Association of College & University Food Services (NACUFS) Pacific Region Culinary Challenge.

 

 

 

 

      

Giselle Clements

Giselle Clements

Sous Chef of Central Production Kitchen
gcoria@stanford.edu

Giselle has been with R&DE Stanford Dining since 2003 and was a 2017 recipient of the R&DE Keith L. Guy award, which acknowledges R&DE employees for exemplary service. She loves introducing students to new flavors, like her great grandmother's mole recipe, and preparing dishes that make them feel at home.

Adrian Macabenta

Adrian Macabenta

Sous Chef
admac17@stanford.edu 

Adrian began with R&DE Stanford Dining in January 2018. Since then, he loves cooking for the students and seeing their reactions to new dishes and their favorite meals. His favorite recipe is Kare-Kare, a Filipino stew made with oxtail and a medley of vegetables, typically served over steamed rice with a peanut sauce.

      

Heidi Mitchell

Heidi Mitchell

Sous Chef
Flavor Lab Lead
heidi2@stanford.edu

Since coming to Stanford in early 2019, Heidi has a passion for innovative flavors and meals. Her favorite recipe is always the next one she is about to create "I love to constantly learn about new foods and try new flavor profiles that I have never experienced," said Heidi. In addition, she enjoys preparing foods that make students feel nostalgic and remind them of their home or of a happy place.

David McDowell

David McDowell

Sous Chef
dsmcdowe@stanford.edu 

David started with R&DE Stanford Dining in 2019. While he enjoys preparing numerous recipes, his favorite is chicken-fried steak with red eye gravy, collard greens and corn bread. David enjoys making great food for the students and having the ability to give the student some comfort with the meals he prepares. "Even after a stressful day when they come in and see something that reminds them of home or something that they simply enjoy, it can turn their day around," he said.

      

Jay-Ar Pugao

Jay-Ar Pugao

Plant-forward & Vegan Sous Chef
jpugao@stanford.edu 

Jay-Ar came to R&DE Stanford Dining in 2019 as our second plant forward and vegan sous chef. He really enjoys "veganizing" several classics, but his favorite is his vegan take on the French Aus Jus sandwich. Jay-Ar enjoys cooking for the students because it demonstrates that they are being cared for. "I believe that good food reminds you of home, or someone who loves you, and when students feel this level of appreciation, it’s very rewarding," he said.

Alice Pyo

Alice Pyo

Sous Chef
apyo@stanford.edu 

Alice started with R&DE Stanford Dining in 2017. Her favorite part about making great food for students has been witnessing their excitement and enthusiasm over the food they create. "I also enjoy engaging with the students and talking about their favorite foods," she said. Speaking of favorites, Alice loves to make fresh pastas and pizzas from scratch.

      

Cisco Quintana

Cisco Quintana

Sous Chef
fquintana@stanford.edu

Cisco joined the culinary team in September 2019. He enjoys cooking anything with short ribs and loves to make dishes that students can't get enough of. 

 

Adan Vazquez

Adan Vazquez

Sous Chef
adanv1@stanford.edu

Adan began his career with R&DE Stanford Dining in 2006 as a part-time employee in high school. He believes the best part about making great food for students is seeing them happy and smile. "It’s just a great feeling seeing them eat and love your food. It makes Wilbur Dining feel like a second home to them," said Adan. He is so proud to have perfected his mom's mole sauce, but he also enjoys making steak because it is versatile and always delicious.

   

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 @ AFDC and 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 and AFDC. 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.