Even though, Quest is a relatively small university, it is home to students from more than 40 countries. Our global campus is dedicated to building a diverse student body, offering student services, and making everyone feel happy and safe.
Quest’s goal, as stated in its website, is to celebrate and integrate the broad spectrum of students’ cultural backgrounds into daily life on campus. There are numerous language forums and shared festivals, and each student has the opportunity to lead and participate in different cultural events on the Quest campus and in the Squamish community.
At least once a month, all international students gather to have a discussion group, where an array of topics are discussed. A couple of weeks ago, during one of our International Discussion groups facilitated by Will Prescott, the International Students Coordinator on campus, we talked about the integration of international cuisines in the cafeteria.
About two years ago, a group of international students came together approximately once per month and prepared a dish that is a staple and tradition in their home countries. This event, as communicated to us by many students, was such a big success. Therefore, we decided to implement this idea and turn Friday night special once a month into something more native.
After numerous meetings and discussions, we decided to make Feijoada Brasiliera, which is the national dish of Brazil. The word Feijoada Brasiliera derives from the word feijão, which means beans. This dish is prepared with black beans, a variety of salted pork and beef products, and different types of sausages. In some regions, they dish usually contains vegetables such as cabbage, kale, potatoes, carrots, however this is not common in all regions. The stew is prepared over low fire in a thick clay pot. The final product has a strong taste, moderately salty but not spicy, and it is dominated by the flavours of black bean and meat stew. We also prepared a vegetarian version of the dish, where we included lots of vegetables such as tomatoes, tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, eggplantand more.
In order to help with digestion, we served the dish with white rice and oranges, which is a pretty typical method of serving.
A few days before the event, with the help of the minister of internationalization, Aida, we advertised the event in different social media platforms and in the bulleting boards around the school. Even though, lots of students showed interest in coming, I did not expected that we would completely sell out all the food we prepared within a couple of hours.
The Friday night’s special in the cafeteria was such a big hit, that 136 dishes were sold!
I would like to thank the masterchefs, aka Barbara, Raoul, Nico and Farrah for putting so much work into making the event such a big success. We all collaborated, listened to each other’s ideas, and did everything we could to make a delicious dish. Thank you guys! Also, thank you very much to our amazing chef and supervisor, Angel. Without her help, we would have been very lost.
The next day I was very curious to hear what everyone thought, and all the feedback I received was positive. While, I do not consider myself a very good cook, it definitely felt good knowing that with the help of my friends and chefs in the cafeteria, we were able to make and sell 136 dishes.
I cannot wait for the next month, where we will make a dish from another cuisine.