International Food Festival at WPI

Taste of Diversity at the International Food Festival

March 22, 2018

Brigadeiro (Brazilian chocolate truffles), bap xao (Vietnamese corn stir-fry), and cruffins (American croissant/muffin fusion) were just a few of the delicacies available for sampling at the annual International Food Festival on March 19.

One of the International Student Council’s biggest events of the year, the festival is an opportunity for the campus community to try native dishes from around the world. This year’s event, which drew more than 500 attendees, featured 26 authentic dishes selected and prepared by students from 14 of the nearly 80 different countries represented by the international student population at WPI.

“It’s a window into the great diversity that we have among the international students on campus,” said Colleen Callahan-Panday, associate director, International House.  

She says participating students partnered with Chartwells and spent most of Sunday prepping––and cooking––in order to be ready to serve on Monday. The festival gave participating students the opportunity to not only answer questions about their chosen dish and home countries, but also celebrate their own cultures and heritage.

Sophomore Joao Lucena says the Brazilian International Student Association members planned their idea for the food festival together. “Every year, we basically make the same recipe because it is a huge success from the crowd,” he said.

This year’s festival was freshman Hunter Caouette’s first taste of the international cuisine prepared by students on campus. “It was really cool to see all different cultures come together in one place to showcase food from their country," he said. "One of my favorite dishes was one from Thailand.”

- By Kristy Pan

Delicious Eats at the International Food Festival

Students work to prepare Japanese onigiri--rice balls covered in seaweed--in the Chartwells kitchen.

Students prep tomatoes and parsley for their dish.

Those needing a chocolate fix were treated to brigadeiro, or Brazilian chocolate truffles.

Students representing Ecuador present their dishes: majado (mashed plantains) and llapingachos (cheese and potatoes).

Attendees eagerly await the food prepared by Vietnamese students, including roasted corn, sticky rice and chicken.

Students reperesenting Greece serve souvlaki (lamb kabobs) with pita and tzatziki (greek yogurt) in addition to a Greek salad.

A student representing San Francisco serves a cruffin, a mix between a croissant and a muffin, to an attendee.

Tasty Hamantaschen cookies prepared by students presenting Israel/Hillel.