Meet the Taste Buds

Bio Photo:  Taste Buds

Welcome to a New Era of Dining at UC San Diego!

Executive Chef Vaughn Vargus combined his knowledge in the kitchen with Registered Dietitian Elizabeth Shaw’s nutrition expertise to form the Taste Buds, your Dining Services team creating healthy, fresh, and delicious menu options.

Vaughn Lee Vargus, CCA, CEC

Chef Vargus is an American Culinary Federation (ACF) Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and Certified Culinary Administrator (C.C.A.). His background includes all phases of onsite food service operations, having held the positions of Chef de Cuisine, Sous, Executive Chef and Operations Manager for dozens of in-house restaurants throughout southern California. Some career highlights include attendance at Napa Valley’s CIA and opportunities to represent American Cuisine in Southeast Asia.

As a mentor and educator, it is his primary goal to bring ACF standards to the University environment and lead his culinary staff to gain recognition and accreditation. There are currently several members of Dining Service staff at various levels of ACF certification.

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RD

Elizabeth Shaw is the Registered Dietitian, a.k.a. nutrition expert, for the culinary team in Dining Services. She has a strong passion for providing accurate nutrition tips to the campus community, dispelling diet myths and showing that all foods can be enjoyed in moderation!

In conjunction with HDH’s culinary team, Elizabeth helps program info for the Dining Services app, provides students with information regarding eating disorders, obesity, and food allergies, and offers individualized meal-planning assistance. She is available to the campus community for one-on-one nutrition counseling.

Catch these two at various educational events, including the Zone’s Tasty Tuesday presentation, or feel free to contact them directly at with any of your nutrition or culinary inquiries.