International Cook-off Provides New Culinary Journey for African Students
Kent State University’s increasing ranks of students from sub-Saharan Africa resulted in the injection of flavors from Rwanda and Nigeria into this year’s annual International Cook-off.
The Office of Global Education sponsored the event during International Education Week earlier this month.
The teams spent time in the kitchens of University Culinary Services preparing dishes from their homelands, with Team Rwanda took serving igisafuriya, a stew of chicken thighs with tomatoes and plantains, along with ginger tea, and Team Nigeria preparing jollof rice and fried chicken with zobo juice, made from steeping hibiscus flower buds with pineapple.
Team Sri Lanka took top honors in the competition, with Team India placing second, Team Rwanda coming in third, and Team Bangladesh taking the People’s Choice Award. Team Central Asia was the remaining competitor.
Sarah Malcom, executive director of the Office of Global Education, said the cook-off is the office's signature event, with international students looking forward to participating and attending each year.
“It represents an opportunity to bring together people from around the world and establish community using food as a starting point for conversations and connections,” Malcom said.
The entry of Team Rwanda and Team Nigeria into the annual cooking contest reflects Kent State’s growing relations in sub-Saharan Africa, resulting in new groups of international students on campus. The Rwandan students are part of a group of 12 undergraduates sponsored by the Rwandan government who arrived at Kent State for the fall semester to pursue degrees.