Ethnic Dinner celebrates cultures through food

Laura Udelson

Every year in October, Lawrence International hosts the International Fall Ethnic Dinner. The dinner, which took place in the Esch Studio in the Warch Campus Center, featured dishes from all over the world. This year the dinner included Greek, Russian, Peruvian, Japanese, Chinese and Australian cuisine. The event took place from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. last Saturday, Oct. 27. Tickets cost eight dollars, or three dollars with a meal swipe.

International students and their Friendship Families were given priority for tickets to the Ethnic Dinner, but the Appleton and Lawrence communities were invited as well. The event sold close to 100 tickets and had a maximum of 200 seats available. Senior vocalist Sarah Laven, member of the band Sarah 2 and the High School Varsity Athletes, performed a Portuguese song for attendees of the dinner, and junior LI President Victoria Chung gave a speech.

The theme for this year’s Ethnic Dinner was “Intercontinental Flavors.” Past themes have included “Rice from around the Globe” and “Home-cooked by LI.” According to sophomore Diana Szteinberg, vice president of LI, the theme allowed for a lot of culture. “We were looking at the dishes and this year we have a lot of diversity,” said Szteinberg. This year, international students represent 51 countries from around the globe.

The menu for the dinner was organized by LI member junior Fei Gao, and was based on dishes that the international students recommended. The LI board researched the geographic locations of current international students. Gao worked with Bon Appétit to create the foods and ensure authentic flavors. The dishes were served buffet-style, and vegetarian and gluten-free options were available.

The dishes on the menu included Greek Salad, Borscht from Russia, Yellow Rice and Raisins from South Africa, Yakisoba Chicken from Japan, Lomo Saltado from Peru, Mapo Tofu from China and Flatbread and Chocolate Crackle from Australia.

Gao was satisfied with the results of the dinner, although if she were to design the menu again, she said she would change the African dish to an African and Caribbean dish. This was Gao’s first year making the menu and there were no complications with any of the recipes. The Yakisoba Chicken dish was from her hometown.

Freshman Cansu Cabucak was enjoyed the dinner and the variety of foods offered. “It was very good and very helpful for us because in these events you get to know a lot of people from different backgrounds. The dinner was very nice and the different foods helped because many people felt at home,” said Cabucak.

Every spring, LI hosts another dinner with International food after the spring formal cabaret show. “The event in the spring is more of a celebration while this one has more of an emphasis on International food” said Chung. Tim Schmidt, director of International Student Services, is organizing the creation of an LI menu that will be presented at the event. The menu will include personal recipes from the International students.

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