All Nations Club cooks up tastes of the globe

Nolan Krebs

The annual International Food Fest will be held in the Jacobetti building.

From the Third St. Village to downtown Washington Street, Marquette has a number of options for grabbing a bite.

Local staples can make finding good food quick and easy, but those looking to diversify their palates may find it at the All Nations Club International Food Fest on Saturday, Feb. 16.

The annual event is in its 23rd year, bringing together national dishes from countries around the world. Sharing a culture’s food can be the first step to discovering something new, said All Nations Club president Young Seuk Cho.

“Food is an easy way to introduce someone to another culture or country,” Cho said. “Trying different cuisines from a different world makes people want to understand their culture more.”

In 2012, the All Nations Club served around 250 people with 16 different dishes, Cho said. According to the NMU student organizations website, the All Nations Club is a conglomerate of international students attending NMU.

With nearly 110 students from 34 different countries, the group aims to “create cultural understanding among the Marquette community by organizing the International Food Fest, giving presentations about different countries, and uniting students together to make them feel more comfortable in a different cultural environment.”

Part of the festival’s intent, Cho said, is introducing the community to the cultures of international students on campus.

Cho said he noticed something interesting when students from Spain gave a presentation earlier this year and brought in food samples for people to try: sharing food opened the group up to immediate conversation.

“In All Nations Club, we meet people from a lot of different backgrounds,” Cho said. “One of the most interesting things about it is how happy talking about their food makes people.”

Among the dishes being served are currywurst from Germany, hummus from Arabic countries, Chinese Coke chicken, Japanese pork cutlets, Bulgogi from South Korea and fried rice noodles with beef and bean sprouts from China. For dessert, Basbousa from Egypt and the Latin American dish flan will be served.

Senior photography major Andrew Jensen, who attended the festival last year, said the event is a great way to try international foods that may have previously been of your radar.

“A lot of people have had Americanized versions of different foods, but that’s pretty much a sham,” Jensen said. “You have to dig a little deeper for the real deal.”

Jensen said his favorite dishes from previous years have typically been Asian recipes.

“There’s a lot of diversity among the foods but the Asian [dishes] pretty much rule,” Jensen said. “It’s great to learn about the cultures around campus that you might have not gotten to hang out with before.”

The All Nations International Food Fest will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Jacobetti Center.

Tickets in advance are $5 for students and $11 for the public, and $8 for students and $14 for the public at the door.

For more information about the International Food Festival or other All Nations Club events, call Tony Tollefson at (906) 227-2509 or email [email protected]