The International Food Festival

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On the 13thof October at around midday (12:00pm), a group of young and extremely talented students at NMBU, organized one of the major event’s during UKA I Ås 2018. Judging by the enormous amount of people that showed up, with absolutely no food left over whatsoever, the event was a huge success. This embarked a new chapter in the journey of this special group of people, who came across from all over the world to Norway, united as one in hopes of fulfilling their life long goals and dreams.

These talented individuals are part of an organization called the International Students Union (ISU) which was established in the late 1970s when a small group of dedicated student activists put their efforts in protecting the welfare and academic situation of international students in Norway. Every year, new board members are elected in a democratic process in which students vote and elect a new President, Vice President, Treasurer, Social & a Welfare Officer. The organization is committed to the social, academic and political interests of all international students studying in Norway.

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Elected on the 3rdof September 2018, these individuals became the latest members of ISU and now, it was their turn to make a mark on the history of NMBU and Ås which will never be forgotten. Although the plan to conduct the International food festival on the 13thof October 2018 was made prior to the election of the new board members, none of its logistics we’re planned and the ISU only had a month’s time to come up with the sponsors, judges, participants and catering etc. From creating advertisement and marketing the event, it took a lot of hard work, determination and dedication to pull of an extremely satisfying and well-organized event, appreciated by everyone who attended it.

The day was clear, the weather was seemingly breezy and beautiful, all the teams were in high spirits and the folks around Ås just enjoyed every minute of it. From the sizzling spicy chicken tandoori and Biryani rice from the Indo-Pak subcontinent in the East made with traditional spices to the Western hemisphere filled tater tots, Cobb Salad, Pot roast, Cupcakes, strawberry smoothies, chocolate brownies and much more, it was paradise for all the food lovers out there. The menu was designed in a way that satisfied the needs of every person, from meat lovers to purely vegan consumers.

The honorable judges, including our university’s rector Mari were absolutely thrilled by the sheer cultural diversity that was present in that small area. Students from all over the world had participated in the event and made this day memorable leaving an everlasting impression on everyone that was gathered at the event. The event was started at 12:00 midday and was supposed to finish at 15:00, but the overwhelming number of people that attended the event made sure that there was no food left over in just a matter of 90 minutes.

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There was so much happening in Ås during UKA, like UKEmarked, SmakÅs, loads of concerts and the International food festival. But people came to the event rallying in large numbers, and besides who doesn’t love free food. There were 4 different categories on which the winning teams got points and they were as follows; Best taste winner, best presentation, most enthusiastic team and finally the people's choice winner. The judges had their hands (and their tummies) full and it was no easy task to taste all kinds of different foods and then decide on winner. The best taste winner award went to a team from Pakistan named the Kashimiri blend who made a traditional Pakistani style food including chicken soup, minced meat with potatoes and peas and Kashimir Pulao (a regional Pakistani dish of rice mixed with unique spices.

Winner of the people’s choice award went to the joint French and German team named franco-allmandes gourmets. They made tradational dish with onions and bacon but also modern versions vegan and vegetarian. In dessert, they made Mousse au chocolate from France and Rote Grütze from Germany.

Winner of the best presentation award went to the team from Spain called Españoleando x Ås and they made "tortilla" (potatoes, eggs and onion), "croquetas" (flour, milk, ham, all fried) and bread with olive oil, tomatoe and spanish ham.

Finally, the last award for most enthusiastic team award went to the Murray's Diner who made vegan chocolate chip cookies served with Soy Milk.

Over all, the International food festival 2018 was a huge success and the amount of people served this year more than 600 people, which was twice as high compared to last year.