The International Dinner will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this Saturday as the International Student Center hosts Seattle University’s largest event.
The dinner, as in year’s past, will include a variety of cultural dishes and live entertainment. Seattle U student volunteers will prepare the the food.
SEATTLE UNIVERSITY ISC
Student volunteers at the 39th International Dinner.
“Almost all of our recipes are from the cookbook that our International Students put on and created, so that’s kind of a way we’re tying the two together. They’re all recipes from past International Dinners,” said Lauren Albano, Graduate Assistant Programming Coordinator at the ISC. “Anyone who’s interested in volunteering in cooking will maybe submit recipes for a couple options, and then our Food Chair, Polo Mehrotra, picks the one’s that would work best together.”
Three weeks ago the Spectator reported on a change in university policy that would require food at cultural events to be prepared by Bon Appetit staff. The university’s legal team put forth the proposal based on legal liabilities and risks associated with having students prepare the food themselves.
Ethnic club members pushed back against the policy change, arguing that students were supposed to build community by preparing food together at these events. In response, Bon Appetit revised their original proposal, instead requiring the catering company to purchase hats and gloves for students, and also provide them with training. This means the food at this year’s dinner, and possibly the years to follow, will be prepared by students.
“This year we have ten different recipes from different countries, and we also have a local chef from Seattle, and the head chef from C-Street helping us,” Albano said.
In addition to the array of cuisine, the night will also include live entertainment. “Every year we try to bring as many different cultures into our performances, to reflect the community of international students here at Seattle U,” said Sebastián Pronin, senior economics and philosophy student, and the entertainment chair for the dinner.
The International Dinner this year will be featuring five different performances along with a few recurring acts from past dinners.
“This year, given that [it] is the Lunar New Year right on the day of the dinner, we’re having a lion dance group,” Pronin said. “We are also having two Latin American groups, one is playing live music from Brazil, the other is going to be folk dancing from Mexico. Then we’ve got a group that mixes contemporary ballet with traditional Indian dancing…And a marimba group from Zimbabwe, and they always bring the crowd, it’s always fun.”
In honor of the International Dinner’s 40th anniversary, students at the ISC teamed up to create an International Dinner Cookbook.
“The office was looking at all our archives of recipes from previous years, so we thought it’d be a really great way to celebrate the anniversary,” said Seattle U student Lynn Doan. “If students like the food, then it’s a good way for them to buy the cookbook so they can make some of the recipes,” Albano said. “We’ll be selling the cookbook at the dinner, and we’ll be selling it after.” The book will be available for $20 and all proceeds go to the International Dinner fund.
The dinner kicks off International Week at Seattle U.
“International Week is generally a campus wide programming effort. We put out a call for programs early in the year for academic departments, campus clubs, student clubs, campus offices, and other organizations to contribute program ideas,” said Ryan Greene, Director of the ISC.
These programs are meant for all students interested in global issues, and International Week provides them a space to participate, discuss and engage in different ideas.
The dinner will be held Saturday, Jan. 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Campion Ballroom.
In addition to the buffet and performances, the dinner will also include a raffle featuring prize packages from local shops, museums, and restaurants.
Tickets for students are $10, and $20 for all non-students.
They can be purchased at the front desk of the ISC office, or online at https://id2017.eventbrite.com.
Prices are also discounted if for those who reserve a table for the event. There are expected to be approximately 350 to 400 guests, so reserve a spot as soon as possible.
Maddy may be reached at