Monday, November 2, 2009


I have always been a huge fan of buffets. When I was a kid, one of my cousins and I used to be brunch buffet masters – we’d load up our plates with Belgian waffles, made-to-order omelets, fresh fruit, salads, freshly-carved meats, etc. And then we’d take a second, third, or fourth trip to the buffet line. I have no idea how we managed to eat so much, because I certainly cannot eat that much anymore; I just don’t have the stomach capacity for it (yes, for all you operations fans out there, my stomach is the Herbie when it comes to buffets). Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t try to relive my youth at the Darden International Food Fest…

The International Food Fest (IFF) is an annual Darden event sponsored by the International Business Society. Students form teams to represent countries or regions, and then they prepare traditional delicacies to serve from a decorated table/booth to the whole Darden community (you pay a flat fee for a wristband, and then when you show up, you get a plate and a fork and can eat all you want). After everyone has eaten themselves into food comas, many of the teams put together a performance of some sort.

While my heritage is German, there was, sadly, no Germany table at the IFF this year. Instead, I was recruited (during Orientation) by Team Italia. (Apparently, if you invite people over for a lasagna dinner during International Orientation, they will tell Irene , who will promptly recruit you.) We made a whole host of tasty food, including lasagna, tiramisu (I need to get that recipe from Irene!), polpette, bruschetta, insalata caprese, etc. My house and hands smelled like garlic for a week after my sub-team met to make the insalata and bruschetta….but it was delicious! Team Italia also sang some apparently traditional Italian songs during the performance section. Yes, even I sang, though I have a horrible signing voice and don’t speak a word of Italian. It was certainly interesting!

Although Team Italia didn’t end up winning any awards, this year’s IFF was a great chance to meet some new people, taste some new foods from around the world, and reminisce about how I used to be able to eat soooo much more food when I was younger. *sigh*

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