UC Berkeley Student Union Director Daryl Ansel Wins "Foodmanitarian" Award

He brought social-justice-minded concepts to campus dining.


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Image: Lori Eanes

Because of his social justice-minded concepts and projects, the executive director of UC Berkeley's ASUC Student Union will receive the prestigious Foodmanitarian Award during the 23rd annual UCLA Extention Restaurant Industry Conference on April 25.

Daryl Ansel and his team brought to the student union several restaurants that had been founded through La Cocina, a San Francisco-based incubator that helps low-income food entrepreneurs make their dreams come true. He also worked with a coffee company that trains and employs recent refugees. 

As reported at Nation's Restaurant News, Northern California native Ansel was only fourteen when his father died, giving the teen a hard lesson in food insecurity and the struggles of single mothers to provide for their families. 

After earning an undergrad degree at UC Berkeley and a graduate degree at Cornell, Ansel worked in financial positions throughout the restaurant industry before returning to Berkeley.

With Ansel's help, four outlets helmed by La Cocina graduates opened in the school's student union last August: Tina Stevens' cake bakery A Girl Named Pinky; Bernadine Sewell and Sicily Johnson's sandwich shop Pinky & Red’s; Hang Truong's Vietnamese concept Noodle Girl; Carmen Figueroa's empanada shop El Mesón de Violeta; and Rawaa Kasedah's Syrian restaurant Old Damascus Fare, whose beef mandi is depicted above.

Ansel also helped the nonprofit coffee-shop Café 1951 to open a location on campus. 

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