A global journey through food

Students tasted foods from different countries including Japan, India, Mexico and France at the “Around the World in 8 Dishes” event on Wednesday at the Hillside Café.

Hillside Cafe hosted a global-themed dining experience on Wednesday to reflect the diverse culture of WSU through food.

As part of the campus dining center’s spring food event, Hillside put on “Around the World in 8 Dishes.” Students walked into the dining hall and picked up a “passport” with a list of the featured dishes printed inside. For each dish the student tried, they earned a stamp. Then, they submitted their passports at a “check-in” stand for a chance to win a free travel bag.

Hillside Associate Manager Michael Clarke said the dining hall takes a lot of pride in its head chef, Jason Butcherite, who is certified as an executive chef. This event really put Butcherite’s talent on display, Clarke said.

For the eight dishes he chose to prepare for the event, Butcherite decided on the unofficial national dishes that would best represent those countries. For example, Butcherite chose king salmon to represent the Pacific Northwest because most people would recognize it from this region, Clarke said.

Butcherite also chose dishes that he had familiarity with, Clarke said, with the exception of goat, which he prepared for the first time for this event.

Since each dining center on campus hosts at least one themed food event every spring, Hillside decided it wanted to reflect the international aspect of campus, Clarke said.

RACHEL SUN | The Daily Evergreen
The Hillside Cafe served Ahi Torgarashi from Japan among other international dishes at “Around the World in 8 Dishes” on Wednesday.

“It’s such a diverse, multicultural experience at WSU,” he said. “We wanted to put that experience on display.”

The chef had the most challenging part, Clarke said. Not only did Butcherite have to pick the recipes that best represented each country, those dishes also require a vast range of skills to prepare them correctly. But with the help of numerous cooks at Hillside, the staff strived to make the food as authentic as possible.

From the goat korma of India to the king salmon of the Pacific Northwest, chefs prepared sample plates for each guest. Signs with small flags identified the dish and its country of origin. Other countries represented included Japan, the Philippines, France, Mexico, Italy and West Africa.

“We know people are never going to consider the food quite as good as from their home countries,” Clarke said, “but we’re trying to be as authentic as possible.”