Thailand wins fifth annual International Cook-Off second year in a row


Team Iran chef Mohammad Moasher Ziad and Team Iran member Mohsen Mohseni Moghadam interact with the judges during the fifth annual International Cook-Off hosted in the Kent State Ballroom on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014.

Kaitlin Siegel

Hungry faculty and students gathered in the Student Center Ballroom on Thursday night, eager to sample a variety of international cuisine at the fifth annual International Cook-Off.

Six teams representing the countries of India, Brazil, Egypt, Libya, Thailand and Iran cooked food from their respective countries and competed for best dish and drink.

Annie Cima, a senior human development and family studies major who works for the Office of Global Education, or OGE, said she was very pleased with the turnout this year.

“This is a really huge event for us,” Cima said. “Last year we had around 700 students come and I think we were able to match it again.”

Faculty from different Kent State departments judged the cuisine and selected the winner.

The judging panel consisted of Shay Little, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students; Shearon Daniels, administrative secretary for the Center for Student Involvement and Marcello Fantoni, OGE associate provost.          

Little said it was difficult to choose a winner because the teams were so different. 

“The presentation and the pride the students displayed while serving their dishes really made a difference to me,” Little said.

Thailand won the cook-off for the second year in a row with their spicy fried chicken with holy basil and Thai omelet served with a Thai milk and pink syrup drink.

The stir-fry style dish was served over rice and is a popular Thai dish.

“Thailand prepared our food right in front of us as they served it and that was pretty unique,” Little said.

Team Iran placed second but won the People’s Choice with their zereshk polo, which is a combination of salt-soaked rice, chicken, lamb and vegetables. Saffron lemonade complimented their dish.

“I want to come back next year just to have this again,” Ericca Granter, senior human development studies major, said about the dish. “It’s really different.”

Team India placed third and prepared saffron rice chicken chaap, which is a spicy dish usually eaten at special ceremonies, with a ginger tea.

OGE hosted the International Cook-Off in conjunction with International Education Week, which is Nov. 17 through Nov. 21.

Contact Kaitlin Siegel at [email protected].