Cooking Together: The International Food Luncheon

Cooking Together: The International Food Luncheon

College is all about trying new things. You’re going away for the first time. You’re being exposed to new and different people and places. Everything becomes a new possible experience. And that in a way is what International Education Week is all about. The Center for International Education and dozens of other groups on campus are presenting the UNH community with the chance to try new and exciting things right here on campus.

The board members of the International Food Luncheon 2015.

The board members of the International Food Luncheon 2015.

Throughout the week of November 2 – 8, CIE and numerous other sponsors put on a variety of events that exposed the UNH community to all of the different cultures represented on campus. They kicked off the week with the opening celebration in Union Court and finished the week with Diwali– the Indian Festival of Light. A favorite among the UNH community during this week is the International Food Luncheon (IFL).

Hosted by the international dorm on campus for the last sixty years, traditional and international students in Fairchild Hall came together to put on this amazing event. On Friday, those who went to Huddleston Hall for IFL were treated to twenty different dishes from around the world and performances by Fia Chait (the Irish dance club) and a preview performance from Diwali performed by the Indian Subcontinent Students’ Association.

Unlike most who attend the International Food Luncheon, I know first hand how much time, love, and energy goes into this event. For the 2014 International Food Luncheon, I served as co-chair of the event alongside this year’s chairman, Morgan Lynch ‘17.

In the days leading up to the event, I was lucky enough to snag some time with the 2015 board to talk about IFL. While many were preparing dishes to be served on Friday, a few of the board members filled me in on how this year’s preparation was going and their experience working on such a large and complex event.

Sitting in the Fairchild Hall lounge, I chatted with Gillian Adiwinata ‘19, Morgan Lynch ‘17, Abigail St. Pierre ‘18,

Students prep one of the twenty dishes to be served at the event.

Students prep one of the twenty dishes to be served at the event.

Mackenzie Meier ‘19, Amanda Morris ‘18, Nicky Ripaldi ‘18, Sam Both ‘18, Tori Lorvig ‘18, and Jonathan Mills-Anderson ‘17. While a few of them could only stay for a few minutes, having to return to their work in the kitchen, the whole board seemed ecstatic about the upcoming event.

Much as it has been in past years, the board and volunteers were a mix of returning students and new students hoping to share their cultures with the UNH community. “This is my third year working with, and being lucky enough, to work with the people I have– this is all volunteer run,” said Morgan Lynch, chairman of the event for the last two years. “This is the product of a lot of hard student work, a lot of commitment, and a lot of fun and love and care.”

I couldn’t agree more, Morgan.

The board members continued to talk about their experiences from the previous year in comparison to this year and share what they are the most excited about for the 2015 event.

You can listen to the whole interview on the UNH Soundcloud.

A few days later it was the day of the event. Current “Fairchildren” and alumni were working hard to get everything ready for the first 11:30 seating for lunch. Trays of delicious Lemongrass beef skewers, momos, and nineteen other dishes were brought out for serving. Being an alum of the hall myself, I was more than happy to help fill barbecue fish lettuce wraps before taking a seat and being served some truly amazing, home cooked food. Sorry HoCo, but this luncheon is always my top choice when I eat on campus!

As a part of the event, the Irish Dance group performed for the 11:30 seating and the Indian Subcontinent Student Association performed a dance for Diwali, which could be seen in whole that Sunday, performed for the 12:30 seating.

As always, this event was a great way to get the UNH community involved and trying new things. While not as busy as previous years, all who attended the event left full and happy to have been a part of the International Food Luncheon.

Missed it this year? Check it out at next year’s International Education Week!