International Food Fair Celebrates Culture and Diversity at UTEP

UTEP’s annual International Food Fair takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, at the Union Plaza. Cuisine including Cajun, Japanese, Bangladeshi, Caribbean, Mexican, Chinese, French, German, Arabic, Brazilian, Guatemalan, Peruvian, and Italian will be available for attendees to sample.

The best recipes submitted to UTEP’s Centennial Salsa Contest will be available for tasting during the fair. Attendees will have the chance to vote for their favorite salsa. A panel of judges comprised of local chefs, caterers, and 2014 commission members also will vote. The winning recipe will be published and served throughout UTEP’s Centennial Celebration.

“Food fair has been evolving on campus since the early ‘80s,” said Rebeca Ocampo, international student and scholar adviser at UTEP’s Office of International Programs. “It’s a major fundraiser for student organizations; they don’t have to be international organizations, but they do have to offer some international-themed food and information to participate in the fair, and through that we hope to provide more knowledge about the diversity that there is on the UTEP campus.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to mingle with people from different backgrounds, cultures, languages and origins, Ocampo said.

“For the participants, it’s definitely a chance to strengthen many skills because the set-up requires working as a team, following many rules about food handling, meeting deadlines and time limits, and growing towards becoming better global citizens.”

The Layali Al Sham Arabic music ensemble and salsa dancers will perform throughout the event.

The fair is open to the public and tickets are available the day of the fair for $1 each. Pricing for food ranges from one to seven tickets.