On January 19, Ricker Dining patrons prepared for another salad bar chicken and egg dinner. If they were lucky, there might be a well-spiced pork rojo or mapo tofu. If they were unlucky, they would face the infamous Mediterranean rock cod. Instead, hours before dinner, residents of Governor’s Corner (GovCo) received a fateful email from their Resident Assistants.
“Please share this information with your residents: Ricker is hosting a few special student appreciation offers this week,” the Ricker and Suites catering team wrote.
From Thai boba tea to hot Nashville chicken and tofu sandwiches, students of all dietary restrictions and food preferences were thrilled. 13 weeks later, with the exception of spring break, the team has still sent out weekly menus of special lunch and dinner items that differ from the campus menu.
“[Student appreciation weeks] take place at the end of each term in all canteens and are a way for us to celebrate the students and thank them for their support. Christina Betondo, Associate Director of Culinary Excellence for R&DE Stanford Dining, works with the 28 Executive Chefs and Sous Chefs on campus to create these and other special menus throughout the year,” Jocelyn Breeland wrote. , spokesperson for R&DE, in a message to the Daily.
Ricker has gone above and beyond, however, with a total of twelve student appreciation menus sent out over the past quarter and a half.
“R&DE wants students to know that we care deeply about them, and we want to make mealtime a chance to relax and take a break from the rigors of the day,” Breeland wrote.
Students feel this attention.
“I love the Ricker specials. I love the staff at Ricker. I think they’re all amazing,” said GovCo resident Ahmed Muhammad ’25. His favorite specialty so far has been chicken and waffles. .
And if students have any suggestions on these special menus, R&DE requires them to share.
“We always welcome student feedback. Students can let their chef know what they would like to see on their dining room menu,” Breeland said. “Stanford Dining has also launched a new Student Menu Innovation Committee and looks forward to working with students to create menus that appeal to the diversity of Stanford students.”
Build-it-yourself food stations are particularly popular with students. Sabrina Ahmed ’25 paid tribute to last week’s build-your-own fried rice special. Like Muhammad, she also shared her love for the staff, who she says are “all so nice”.
Mayahuel Malik ’25 also enjoys build-your-own food stations. Taco nights are her favorite: “They’ve got it all with limes, agua de jamaica and agua de mango,” she said.
She also appreciates the staff — but, more specifically, she love their musical choices:Thanks very much. Many thanks to whoever plays La Camisa Negra de Juanes. It’s a big mood booster every time I hear it.
“Ricker has one of the best dining halls on campus,” Skylar Volman ’25 said. His favorite specialties were sushi nights. Ricker made a few different versions of this special, cutting California rolls, vegetarian rolls, and even satisfying meat lovers with a SPAM roll.
Reese Dobson ’25, another sushi lover, highlighted the impact the specials have had on the Ward D community: “I know everyone who lives in the neighborhood really appreciates it. Ricker is most lively when he there are more people here, and everyone comes for the specials.
Malik agreed, “It brings more people to Ricker. It’s already a welcoming enough place, but that just makes it more comforting. After a really long day, it’s nice to have good food and lots of good people around you.