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UC’s CenterCourt Gets the Gold Medal

Open only a few months, UC’s newest campus dining center is earning national recognition.

Date: 5/2/2006 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Lisa Ventre

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Booker T. Smith at CenterCourt

The University of Cincinnati’s new CenterCourt Dining Center just won Gold Medal status for its innovations in college dining. The restaurant, which opened in January in UC’s new Campus Recreation Center, claimed the Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards Gold Medal in the large school – single stand-alone concept from the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS). Syracuse University took the Silver Medal category and Miami University and the University of California-Santa Barbara tied for the Bronze Medal. The awards ceremony will be held at the National NACUFS Convention in Toronto July 26-27.

In college and university culinary arts, the ultimate professional tribute is the NACUFS Loyal E. Horton Dining Award. Named for a NACUFS founder, past president, and highly regarded innovator, the Loyal E. Horton Award salutes the most successful ideas in menus, presentations, special event planning and new dining concepts. 

“It’s quite exciting for our team to take first place in this national ranking among universities,” says UC/ARAMARK Food Service Director Spyros Gravas. “It shows that our ‘Gold Medal dining program’ is on the right track to provide UC with the unique top-level food services that emphasize menu variety and nutritional soundness.” The team that developed the concepts for CenterCourt includes Gravas, Mike Toppin, associate food service director, Kiril Gallovitch, chef manager, and Philippe Audax, executive chef.


The 393-seat, all-you-care-to-eat CenterCourt Dining Center has selections that take the restaurant beyond the national trends set by UC’s MarketPoint at Siddall (which claimed a Silver Medal category in the national competition last year), including seven distinct taste stations that offer a Mongolian Grill, a brick oven for fresh-baked pizzas and breads, and vegan and vegetarian selections.

“Receiving the gold medal clearly indicates that CenterCourt is exceeding the standards and expectations of our peers across the country,” says Todd Duncan, UC director of Housing and Food Services. “To have two award-winning dining centers provides the university community with the ultimate choice in quality and variety.”

“It’s a huge honor to be nationally recognized by our peers with the first place award in the NACUFS Loyal E. Horton competition,” says Steven Sayers, associate vice president for Administrative and Business Services and director of Campus Services. “It’s also gratifying to see so many students, faculty, staff and campus visitors enjoying the food and service at CenterCourt day in and day out. It’s the reason we put so much effort into our food service operations.”

CenterCourt is one of the eateries along the University of Cincinnati MainStreet corridor that exemplifies UC|21 goals to establish a sense of place – creating an environment where members of the campus community and the community at large can spend time learning, living, playing and staying.

Read more about how CenterCourt Dining Center is leading national trends in college dining.

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