Campus Dining Experiences: Oaxacan Cuisine and More

February 6, 2024
Two chefs pose with hook em hands in J2 Dining

One of the best ways to feel at home on the Forty is embracing what our campus dining has to offer. We encourage our residents and the Longhorn community to make the most of their campus experience by attending UHD-sponsored programs and events, particularly in our dining locations. As part of our commitment to offering engaging events for our community, we recently had the pleasure of hosting the renowned Chef Iliana de la Vega in our kitchens at J2 and Kins Dining, bringing her Oaxacan heritage to our unique dining experience.

Originally gaining acclaim for her Oaxacan-based restaurant and cooking school, El Naranjo, Chef Iliana de la Vega has continually earned respect in the culinary world, including winning a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Texas in 2022. Her culinary expertise is not just a profession, but a lifelong passion deeply rooted in her upbringing in Mexico City. Chef Iliana de la Vega has committed to embracing her heritage by showcasing the complexity and soulfulness of the Mexican food and culture.

The culinary journey Chef Iliana de la Vega brought to J2 and Kins Dining left students savoring the authentic tastes of Mexican cuisine. The appetizers and salads, featuring rajas poblanas con elote and tortas de cochinita pibil, offered a vibrant start to the experience. This was followed up by indulgent entrees like a yellow mole garnished with marinated Anaheim chile, white onion and lime juice, and savory short ribs braised in a two-chile sauce. Complementing these dishes were sides, including poblano chile and cilantro rice, black and pinto beans, and a house made chorizo and potato combination. Refreshing agua frescas were available to wrap up the culinary journey.

We hope the campus community enjoyed welcoming Chef Iliana de la Vega at J2 and Kins Dining for a Oaxacan food showcase. If you missed this exceptional dining experience, there are several other opportunities ahead -- attend our upcoming events where you can expect more culinary adventures, entertainment and interaction with our Longhorn community.

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