The only crossover between University and food for me was the Mensa. I never really thought a University would have food-related events, let alone such a fun one. However, I soon found out that our University has an annual event called ,,Taste the World” where students from all over the world who have come to our university cook and showcase their country’s cuisine. I had to take part in it, of course. You know, I am something of a cook myself.
It all started with an email from the International Office. An email that read ,,Taste the World | A culinary journey around the world”. Reading it, I saw an opportunity because they needed someone to cook of course. Let me give you a lowdown of how it was going to work. They had planned to have some students cook online and they would submit their recipes beforehand. The International Office planned to gather the ingredients required and give them to the participants a few days before the event , a ,,Hello-Fresh” style of food delivery. I immediately asked the International office whether there were any spots for student-cook left. Luckily, they did have a spot left and I could cook in front of people and they would cook with me online!
I was deep in thought as to what I should make with the people. Of course, it should be something Indian. Something not too hard to make and not too spicy (even though they could adjust the spice themselves as they would be cooking it). Something that won’t take too much time. I settled on a recipe called ,,Bread Upma” which is a spicy blend of vegetables and bread fried together into a tasty mixture. The ingredients were not too hard to find and it took around half an hour to make it. The International office put together a cute box of all ingredients for my dish and also dishes of my co-cooks. They said they had around 100 people who were participating in the event! Rolling into the day of the event!
Let me tell you how the event itself was designed. So there were 4 of us. I was making the entree, two girls from South Korea making the main dish (Kimbap) and a guy from Morocco making a Moroccan dessert (Baghrir). I was extremely excited and a bit nervous since I would be cooking in front of 100 people! However, my girlfriend was there to help me with the laptop and camera (Because it would be so hard to keep moving the laptop and even set it at the right height for them to see me cooking). The participants were really nice and sweet too! Cutting the onions was making me cry and I was trying hard to not let it affect my cooking and make the participants uncomfortable. One of the participants made a joke of being not the only one crying while cutting onions which put me at ease. I could just be myself from there and together we made a fine Bread Upma! I was really proud of it and the participants loved it too!! I was so happy that they did. Then we moved onto the main course. The girls did the Kimbap very well and it was a fun experience making it. I never really made such a good South Korean dish before! The Baghrir was the cherry on top of a very entertaining and tasty event! We had all 3 of the dishes afterwards and it was an amazing experience.
I love how we made the best out of a situation like the pandemic. I will take part in the next Taste the World event and hope you guys too!!!!!
Till next time,
Ajay is an Angewandte Informatik Masters Student (he recently learned the pronunciation) from India. He has been an ESN member ever since and keeps saying he is an Arsenal fan like it is a badge of honour. He loves to eat even though it doesn't seem like he does. He is a traveller who likes to experience new adventures.