Students serve food at the 2023 International Food Festival. (photo by Levi Dade)

Grant Center set to host food festival

February 20, 2024

By Jacie Sellars, Staff Writer

The Grant Center for International Education will present the International Food Festival (IFF) on Feb. 20 in Walker Conference Center. For just $5, students can sample dishes from around the world prepared by Ouachita’s international students. 

Sophomore Ligia Silva believes that IFF is a wonderful way to showcase Ouachita’s international community. 

“We just have a melting pot at this university,” Silva said. “We have people from everywhere, so this event is really important because we get the chance to show our cultures and learn about different cultures.”

This year’s IFF theme is Postcards Around the World. Much like a postcard, an international dish can serve as a memento from a different part of the world. 

“When you travel, you buy a postcard because you want to remember the trip and internalize it,” Silva said. “That picture means something to you, so I think that postcards represent memories.” 

Students who attend IFF can make wonderful memories while experiencing something new. 

To bring the event together, the International Club had to start planning months in advance. According to junior Nathan Clark, there were many different factors considered when planning. 

“We started meeting as a leadership committee towards the end of last semester,” Clark said. “We have committees for decor, public relations, sponsorship development and volunteers.” 

Support from students and the community has helped IFF come to life. Local restaurants will prepare some of the dishes, and several local churches have opened their kitchens for students to cook. Students can volunteer at the event or help in the days leading up to it. 

Last year, 90 students volunteered, and the volunteer committee is looking for a similar amount this year. “We need volunteers from Friday afternoon until the end of the event,” Clark said. “Volunteering will get you transserve hours, a free t-shirt and free admission to the event.” 

IFF will feature food from regions across the world, including Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa. Students have been hard at work preparing their dishes. 

“I’m excited for our European dishes,” Clark said, “and I will be preparing a Papua New Guinean dish with some sweet potato and coconut.” 

People who attend the event can expect a variety of sweet and savory food that celebrates many different countries. Silva is looking forward to sharing a favorite dessert with fellow students. 

“I am preparing milk brigadeiro,” Silva said.  “It’s a traditional Brazilian sweet that we have at every party, and this kind is my favorite. “

Attendees of IFF will most likely encounter foods they don’t recognize, but Clark believes that it is important to be adventurous and keep an open mind. 

“I’d say to look at the food, and even if it looks different, try it,” Clark said. “It’s always worth it to try it once.” 

Overall, IFF will allow people to create community and have fun while experiencing the rich diversity of culture at Ouachita. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Shambarger Competition returns to McBeth Recital Hall

Next Story

Tigers hope for third straight NCAA regional berth

Latest from News

About Me

Go toTop