Food fest stirs spoons, new food options

During International Education Week each semester, the International Student Club hosts the International Food Festival at the Marketplace at Doan.

The Valley Vanguard

Vanguard photo | Sean Dudley

The International Food Festival, hosted by the International Student Club and Dining Services, offered students a chance to sample food from across the world at the renovated Marketplace with more seating.

The festival began in the late 1990s as a group potluck where students would bring in different foods.

It was originally held in Brown Hall and it later moved to Curtiss. The International Food Festival is now held in the Marketplace at Doan.

The International Student Club always hosts this event so international students can share their culture.

Jason Wolverton, director of marketing said, “The International Food Fest started as a fundraising effort and exposure opportunity for the International Student Club.”

Stephanie Sieggreen, director of international programs, said “Food tends to bring people together. It doesn’t matter where you’re from.”

Sieggreen said the International Food Festival is a part of International Education Week because it helps students who are from different countries remember their homes.

Students from China, Germany, India, Japan, South Korea and other countries participated. Working with Dining Services, the students use recipes from their home countries and prepare the dishes in dining facilities.

Abdullah Alaithan, health science freshmen said, “The reason why students come to this event is because it’s a break from the everyday same-food routine.”

Foods ranged from crepes from France to moon cakes from China.

“It’s a great idea to try new kinds of food especially from different cultures,” Alaithan said.

The Marketplace was decorated with colorful decorations such as flags.

“The food festival provides people with a change of pace,” said Tom Hentkowski, finance senior. “People can always have American food.”

Lorin Davis, international studies junior said, “People like to try food from new places.”

Exchanges are critical to developing mutual understanding and respect.

“Ultimately, a university setting is all about learning and gaining new experiences, and that concept applies not only in the classroom, but the dining room as well,” Wolverton said.

The event aims to build support for international and educational exchange.

Xiangjun Meng, business junior, said, that the event was “a great opportunity for international students from different cultures and backgrounds to communicate with American students.”

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