For the past 33 years, Leo Rodriguez has been a big dill in the cafeteria and delivered eggcelent service to Del Mar students and staff.

Rodriguez, the now-former food service manager, held his retirement party on Aug. 15 to share with friends and colleagues his memories of his time at Del Mar.

Guests at his party signed words of encouragement and looked through his letters he kept over the years from former clients.

“These letters made me work harder and better,” Rodriguez said. “The people I catered to would tell me they like my work and enjoyed it. From 1988 to this recent year; it’s all here and I loved it.”

Those at the retirement party in the Retama Room were served fruit, nachos and pulled-pork sandwiches along with sodas and water. On the tables was a centerpiece full of gummy worms to symbolize Rodriguez’s love of fishing.

Rodriguez had nothing but praise for his cafeteria staff.

“My people are great,” Rodriguez said. “They are hard workers and take care of things down there. I will miss them all dearly.”

Maria Liliana Maltos, who has been working under Rodriguez for six years, said will be missed.

“I’m sad he’s leaving because he’s been a great boss,” Maltos said. “Leo’s been an amazing boss. He’s fair, understanding, easy to work with and so compassionate.”

Rodriguez’s plans for retirement are simple and relaxing.

“You see those three little girls right there?” Rodriguez asked. “They’re my babies. I’m going to go home and take care of grandkids and just take it easy from here on in.”

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