2017 International Cook-Off Celebrates Cultural Cuisine | Office of Global Education | Kent State University

2017 International Cook-Off Celebrates Cultural Cuisine

Mark Your Calendars, Bring Your Appetite and Be Ready to Share all the Food, Fun and Festivities at This Year's International Cook-Off Competition

November 16, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Kent Student Center Ballroom
Watch the Cook-Off Live!

As in the past, the highlight of this year's International Education Week, November 13 – 17, promises to be the tenth annual International Cook-Off Competition. The Cook-Off is scheduled for Thursday, Nov.16 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom. Hosted by the Office of Global Education and supported by Kent State Dining Services, the Cook-Off will feature food and beverages from around the world. The event is free and open to all. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the food service will begin shortly thereafter.

For the first time, two teams from the same country, South Korea, will compete in the Cook-Off and will represent the Korean cities of Jeonju and Seoul. The remaining teams include previous Cook-Off fan favorites: Brazil, India, Oman and Sri Lanka.

The Cook-Off will feature six student culinary teams which will compete as finalists in the competition. Each team will prepare and present a different cultural entrée and beverage from its home country. The teams will compete for first, second and third place awards, which will be determined by a team of three judges (see below). In addition, the Cook-Off’s attendees will have the chance to vote for their favorite team and recipe for the People’s Choice Award. To vote for their favorite cooking team for the People's Choice Award, attendees will have the ability to send a text message using their cell phones. The text voting will make it more convenient for the attendees to vote and for the results to be tabulated. The announcements of the first, second and third place, as well as the People's Choice winners, will begin at approximately 7:45 p.m.

Overseeing all of the evening's festivities will be this year's master of ceremonies, Dr. Michael Kavulic, director of board operations and technology in Kent State's Office of the President. Dr. Kavulic will also serve as host for "Cook-Off Tonight," which is something of a late-night talkshow during which he will interview members of the cooking teams and judging panel, as well as other Kent State VIPs.


"We have an incredible opportunity here at Kent State University to build cultural understanding and broaden our perspectives as we interact and engage with one another.  Our International Education Week events represent just a few of the countless ways we have to take advantage of that opportunity.  I am thrilled and honored to be a part of this year’s program and to serve as the emcee at the International Cook-Off Competition.  I cannot wait to meet and talk with this year’s competitors, and to try some of the amazing cuisine that will be on display.  Let the best dish win!"
Dr. Michael Kavulic


KSUTeleproductions is also adding a new wrinkle to this year's event: Live-streaming of the evening's festivities. The live streaming of the event will enable family and friends back home to see the international students participating in the friendly competition and watch the closing awards ceremony.
Watch the live-streaming of the Cook-Off


2017 International Cooking Teams and Menus

  • Brazil | Moqueca Bahiana de camarao
  • India | Mughlai Chicken
  • Oman | Biryani with Chicken
  • South Korea, Jeonju | Bibimbap
  • South Korea, Seoul | Royal Stir-Fried Rice Cake with Gochujang Pork Cupbap and Potato Pancake
  • Sri Lanka | Sri Lankan Fried Rice with Fish Balls and Chicken Curry

Team members and recipes


The Office of Global Education is also delighted to announce and welcome our three judges for this year's International Cook-Off:

  • Ricardo Sepulveda, Director, Kent/Blossom Music Festival
  • Shakhnoza Yakubova, Ph.D. Student, Higher Education Administration
  • Lamar Hylton, Dean of Students

Last year's Cook-Off featured cooking teams representing Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Nepal, Saudi Arabia and South Korea, while a crowd of about 900 Kent State students, faculty and staff were on hand to sample the exotic foods which the teams had prepared. With a dish of fried rice and fish balls and a refreshing fruit punch, the team from Saudi Arabia was selected by the judges for First Place for its dish of Kabash. Later, the team from India, which presented Chili Chicken as its main entree, was selected by the audience for the People's Choice Award. India also placed second in the judges voting, while Bangladesh took Third Place with the unusual combination of Kacchi Biriyani, Begun Vaji and Borhani.

To get a "taste" of the food, fun and festivities planned for this year's Cook-Off, watch the following video featuring the 2016 competition. Then save the date and plan to attend. Your taste buds will thank you.

2016 International Cook-Off Competition Video