FM Best Concepts [1]
Pork Ramen Noodle Soup
Pork Ramen Noodle Soup is one of the thousands of dishes featured at FEAST

Best Menu: UCLA

RELATED:     •    2012 Best Concept Award Winners     •    Best of Show: Stanford University     •    Best Convenience Retailing Concepts: New Haven Public Schools     •    Best Renovation: Yale University     •    Best Special Event: Ohio State University Medical Center     •    Best Wellness Initiative: Hallmark Cards, Inc.     •    Best Station Concepts: Restaurant Associates     •    Best Management Company Concepts: Sodexo

FEAST at Rieber is an all-you-care-to-eat venue that serves a mix of seven Asian cuisines exclusively: Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Indian and Hawaiian. Two of the seven are featured at each meal on a rotating basis and the menu database consists of over a thousand recipes.

The concept goes way beyond simply offering authentic cuisine. Instead, it gives its chefs a creative environment in which innovative new menu offerings can be developed by crossing traditional culinary lines.

The goal of FEAST at Rieber was to increase patron counts in its dining location in the 850-bed Rieber Residence Hall. The venue had been losing participation due to its aging facilities, distance from the core campus and location at the top of a long stair climb up a hill. To make the eatery attractive, the renovation focused on a unique and appealing menu strategy along with dazzling interior design and an expertly trained culinary team to manage production and operations.

Two exhibition stations in Rieber focus on authentic entrees and combination plates, while the Market and Grill stations serve up fusion and Asian-inspired creations. A self-service side dish bar offers a selection of fresh and traditional sides, such as Indian puffed rice or Korean kimchi. There’s also a full salad/soup bar and a dessert bar featuring authentic Asian selections and condiments.

The results have been dramatic. Average patron counts per meal period jumped from around 400 to more than 1,300. The concept has proven espcially popular with UCLA’s large population of students of Asian heritage.

PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS:

Pete Angelis
Assistant vice chancellor, UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services

UCLA Dining Services
Daryl Ansel
Director of food & beverage
Alex Macias
Assistant director
Roger Pigozzi
Executive chef
Jorge Noriega
R&D chef
Anthony Nigro
Executive pastry chef
Marco Rios
Commissary principal chef

FEAST at Rieber
Mino Bhathena
General manager
Oliver Del Rosario
Assistant dining manager
Kunal Sinha
Assistant dining manager
Mark Kim
Head chef
Joachim Weritz
Sous chef

UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services Project Management Department
Pi-Hsuan Kao
Project manager
Jerome Jontry
Construction manager
Elizabeth Rendon
interior designer
UCLA Housing & Hospitality Services Marketing & Communications Department
Jan Gonzales
Associate director
Staff: Stephanie Snipes, Ilana Van Allen, Mandy Lin, Christine Loh, Felicia Caldwell