INTERNATIONAL COOKING CHALLENGE was organized at the kitchen of IAESTE Vietnam National Office on 13 August, 2017. The purposes of this event were to connect IAESTE trainees and let them discover, experience new cuisine.

The event happened excitingly with the participation of IAESTE volunteers and international trainees from Pakistan, India, Thailand, Czech Republic, Spain, Slovakia. Especially, some of them are Board members of IAESTE in their countries such as Pratul (IAESTE LC JECRC, India), Iris ( IAESTE LC in Spain) and Michaela (IAESTE Czech Republic).

In this party, we spent 4 hours cooking various types of dish as follow:

Czech Republic: Dill sauce with egg and dumplings (Koprová omáčka s vajíčkem a karlovarským knedlíkem J)

Korea : Kimbap

Thailand : Pork spare rib Spicy soup

Pakistan: Pakoray (Fritters)

Spain: Torrijas, Ortilla de patata

Vietnam: Phở cuốn, Nem (Spring rolls)

It was seen that every trainee was so proud and happy to cook the typical dish of their motherlands in Vietnam. We helped each other in preparing or cleaning. While cooking, we often shared how to cook and which ingredients needed for every dish. At 12:00, we hadn’t finished all dish and everyone felt hungry. However, we were still happy to support each other. One hour later, every dish was put on the table and it was time for us to enjoy our results. All dish were so strange but delicious with different tastes. Besides enjoying such unique and various cuisines, we shared some humorous stories about traditional festivals and IAESTE’s activities in each country. Interestingly, we put all desserts on the fridge in another room but someone locked it. We therefore could not take fruits out of the fridge to enjoy after meal. Luckily, the staff that locked the door came back 1 hour later and all of us jumped excitingly to share the fruits together.Meaningfully, we also divided foods into some parts so that everyone could bring them home for the trainees who could not attend the event due to their busy schedule.

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The event finished around 3 pm since some trainees had to come back their schools/ office to complete their projects. Even though we did not share the same nationalities, languages, origins, religions and cultures; we all felt that we were a full family. Never in my life can I forget the memorable moments when we prepared the foods together as if we were brothers and sisters in a family.

By attending IAESTE cultural events like this International Cooking Challenge, all of us – IAESTE Volunteers and Trainees had very good opportunities to meet up, share opinions on every aspect of life and then get to know better about each other.

It was far more than a Cuisine Party, it was “friendship” and “mutual understandings” despite our differences.