New dining hall at USC Village favors flavor and a healthful menu

Chef Nathan Martinez wants to provide a learning experience along with good food. (Photo by Gus Ruelas)

Everything gleams at USC’s newest dining hall, housed on the ground floor of McCarthy Honors College. Floors, countertops, tile and stainless steel shine beneath a collegiate gothic ceiling, in soft light that passes through stained glass. The man who will head up the kitchen is beaming with anticipation.

“This is gorgeous,” said Chef Nathan Martinez, admiring the space.

In August, the 8,000-square-foot dining hall — which can seat up to 450 — will begin serving meals. It’ll be fully up to speed when students move in, ready to serve as many as 3,000 meals a day.

All those meals will align with USC’s Food Philosophy and the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative, which emphasizes seasonal foods, plant-based cooking, smaller portions of red meat and reduced salt and sugar. Above all is deliciousness, which research indicates is more important than nutritional benefits when it comes to enticing appetites.

Read the full article on USC News.