East meets West: Bridging Cultures through Food and Games – International Food Festival

05 Sep East meets West: Bridging Cultures through Food and Games – International Food Festival

Last Saturday, international students and locals gathered together at Visions on Campus of Ara Institute of Canterbury for a mid year welcome – International Food Festival

The International Food Festival was a collaboration between Ara Institute of Canterbury, ChristchurchNZ, Christchurch City Student Ambassadors and Visions on Campus. The event was in two parts, a cooking competition for our current international students followed by our guests being invited to taste the food and vote for their favorite. The event attracted 93 people, both from the local communities and international students. 

The cooking competition 

30 international students from Ara Institute of Canterbury, Avonside Girls’ High School, Shirley Boys’ High School, CCEL and the University of Canterbury teamed up in 9 cooking teams to compete with each other. Students were given a budget to cook for our guests at Ara’s Hospitality School. There was a great variety of selections of food being prepared, from Chinese BBQ to traditional Lasagne, our judges and guests were impressed with the taste of the food and its presentation. 

Before the tasting, a representative of each team was invited on stage to introduce their teams and the food they prepared to our nearly 100 guests.  Many of them were really nervous about it but they all managed to do a great job, and impressed our guests as well.  Check out the photos below. 

Tasting the food 

The first prize was given to team “MP with Staffs” made up of students from Korea, Thailand, Japan and Taiwan currently studying general English at CCEL.  The runner up was team “Bite of China”, two current PhD students at University of Canterbury. The third prize went to team “Beijing Squad” a team of international students from Beijing who are currently studying  at Ara Institute of Canterbury. 

After the prize giving, our students joined the guests for a quiz.
It was a truly fun and memorable night for all.  

A big thank you goes to our sponsors for supporting us with prizes and funds to support our event:

Hamner Springs Thermal Pools and Spa

The Ground Cafe – Christchurch Casino 

Soaring Kiwi Tours

New Zealand Friendship Society – Christchurch Branch 

A big thank you also goes to the Christchurch City Student Ambassadors for volunteering their time and effort to organize such a fun event. Ambassadors volunteered to take registrations, welcomed guests, being the MC at the event and all the photos and videos were taken and edited by our amazing student ambassadors and international students! 

A big thank you also goes Jason from Visions on Campus for providing such a great space for our event.