At around 14:30 on the afternoon of Tuesday 4th March, one of the School’s students most keenly awaited events began: the Gastronomy Sessions. With a relaxed atmosphere that gave attendees the opportunity to network and discover different nationalities, this year’s edition of the event in Madrid brought together participants from six different countries.
Students from Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, Spain and other countries gathered in the Events Hall of the Madrid Campus, the School’s venue for the Gastronomy Sessions. Students and teachers had the opportunity to enjoy themselves chatting, sharing opinions and exchanging recipes for their countries’ most typical dishes.
Georgina Barquín, a lecturer at the School, welcomed both the students who had taken the time to show off some of their cuisine and those who had simply come to the event to taste the culinary creations. “One of the objectives of these initiatives is to provide a great opportunity for networking, which is so useful to us in both our personal and professional lives”, explained the EAE lecturer. After her welcome, a representative from each participating country took the microphone to present their dishes. The participants’ presentations came to a close with the contribution of the catering team at EAE Business School, who gave the students the chance to try salmorejo as one of Spain’s signature dishes.
Ceviche (plato bandera), sautéed pork, papas a la Huancaína and causa were the four dishes offered by the Peruvian participants, presented to the rest of the attendees by Karen Tolbar, a student on the Master in Marketing and Commercial Management. With this cuisine, the Peruvian students want to showcase the culinary variety of their country, with a delicious selection of fish, meat and potatoes.
Ecuador presented one dish that is representative of the Costa region, tigrillo, and another from the Sierra region, fritada. Juan Carlos Maldonado is one of the students from Ecuador who came to Madrid to take the Master. He is currently coming to the end of the Master in Marketing and Commercial Management and has shared his classroom with people from Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Argentina and Spain. Talking about the Gastronomy Sessions, he highlighted the value of “discovering the variety of each country”. Turning to his future, Juan Carlos hopes to stay longer in Spain (a country he loves), before returning later to Ecuador to start up his own venture.
Venezuela and Colombia had their own debate when it came to arepas, a typical dish in both countries but with great differences between them. Pablo Sepúlveda, a student in the MBA and a representative of Colombia gave an explanation. “In Venezuela, arepas are thicker and stuffed, while the Colombia version is flat and the sauce is place on top”. Pablo laughed as he remembered how, at the start of the Master, he and his classmates of different nationalities shared a common language but had “a completely different way of communicating”. With an entrepreneurial spirit, after the MBA, he wants to set up his own business in Spain, but without losing sight of his own country, where “there are currently great opportunities for growth”.
As well as arepas stuffed with cheese and guacamole, Venezuela gave attendees the chance to taste patacones, cachapas and tequeños. Paola Quevedo and Verónica de Freitas were two of the students that formed part of the country’s team. Both of them admitted getting nostalgic for their country, particularly in view of the news coming from there about the current situation. “We study with people from other countries but, thanks to the Gastronomy Sessions, we can gain an insight into the everyday lives of the people of each nationality”, agreed the students, both of whom are taking the Master in Marketing and Commercial Management.
Fernando Suárez, a student on the Master in Marketing and Commercial Management, was one of the Spaniards to attend the Gastronomy Sessions. “I share my class with people from all over Latin America and they are always telling me that I should try their typical dishes”, admitted the student from Córdoba. “I love this initiative, firstly because of the networking opportunity and secondly for the chance to discover our classmates’ culture”.
Latin American students also highlighted the nostalgia that they felt eating their traditional dishes at the Gastronomy Sessions. This is the case of María José Jaramillo, Karen Villalba and María Morales, all from Peru and taking the Master in Journalism and Digital Communication. “We miss our families and friends, our country and our food. This event makes us feel closer to home”.