The facilities at the Madrid and Barcelona campuses of EAE Business School have played host to a new edition of the Gastronomy Festival, with the participation of the students taking part on the School’s Full-Time programmes. The event took place on 29th April and is held within the framework of the programme of events to celebrate the School’s cultural richness.
Through the medium of gastronomy, the objective of this event is to share some of the traditions from our students’ home countries. In the festival, our students cook and present typical dishes from each country before sitting down to share and enjoy all of the dishes together with fellow participants. In short, this is a networking opportunity for students, creating teams made of the School’s longer-serving members and newest recruits.
In this fifth edition in Barcelona and fourth in Madrid, the festival had representatives from the following countries: Iceland, Mexico, Panama, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Peru, Guatemala, Colombia, Spain, Holland, Vietnam, Argentina, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Ecuador. This highlights EAE’s multiculturalism, with the School being one of the country’s education centres with the highest diversity in terms of students’ places of origin. In fact, 55% of the students at our School come from outside Europe.
For the event, participants were organized into stands (one per region), decked out with flags, costumes and colours that represent their countries of origin. The students from each group explained the recipe and cooking process for the dishes that they had prepared themselves, blending traditional ingredients with flavours characteristic of their nationalities. As you can probably imagine, our mouths were watering.
Dishes from around the world
In some cases, participants shared the recipes for their dishes, while, in others, they gave an explanation of the origin of the dish and shared anecdotes, all making for a really fun and enjoyable day.
The representative from Iceland introduced us to one of the country’s most representative snacks: desalted cod spread with butter. Meanwhile, students from the Dominican Republic showcased their country’s cuisine with dishes such as mangú or mashed plantain, yucca and chicken stew. The name mangú is said to the “invasions of North America, when the soldiers probably said ‘Man good!’”, explained the students.
The cuisine of El Salvador has a diverse wealth of dishes, such as pupusas, a dish in which “corn tortillas are served with fresh cheese, beans and tomato salsa. It is one of the most common dishes in our country,” the participants told us.
Mexico’s stand was one of the fullest, offering guacamole, refried beans, fajitas, salsas, burritos and much more. The representatives of this country explained that “many of the ingredients have been brought directly from Mexico because they are hard to find here.”
The most traditional culinary delights of Guatemala were also available at the EAE event, including the chocobananos and chocofresas, bananas and strawberries “cooked with a special chocolate from the country”. Other dishes from this nation included red salsa and beans and las monedas de leche or ‘milk coins’, “that are often made in small villages”, we were told.
Panama’s stand gave us the chance to taste dishes such as rice and chicken and ensalada de feria or ‘feast-day salad’, which is “always served at all types of celebration in our country”, explained the students that had prepared these delights.
Pies, corn bread stuffed with meat, arepas, medallions of fried plantain, rice pudding... these were just some of the dishes showcase at Colombia’s stand. “To prepare for this event, the logistics were just crazy,” laughed the students, “we have bought some of the dishes from a Colombian restaurant and we have cooked others ourselves.”
The EAE students from Peru shared dishes such as lomo saltado (quickly stir-fried beef), traditional ceviche and the causa a la limeña, a dish that blends Peruvian potato, avocado, lemon, hard-boiled egg, tuna or chicken. According the representatives of this country, the dish is “a homage to women, as in times of war, women cooked this dish to feed the soldiers.”.
From Brazil, we had the chance to try coxinha, “an appetizer made from shredded chicken breast wrapped in pastry and fried”.
And, of course, we enjoyed delicious treats from our own country, such as our typical croquettes, Spanish omelette and paella, loving prepared by the representatives of Spain. By courtesy of EAE, we also had the chance to savour gazpacho and albóndigas (meatballs).
EAE’s multiculturalism through the eyes of our students
One of the features of this event that is most commonly highlighted by our students is that it really is a unique event that gives us the opportunity to get to know students from different countries much better. “We decided to take our Master at EAE because of references we were given and because we really love the atmosphere. It is truly international”, remarked our students from El Salvador.
“This experience has taught us to work as a team and given us insight into different cultures and cuisine”, added the representative of Mexico. “Studying at EAE enables me to meet lots of people and visit companies that are world leaders”.
The Gastronomy Festival certainly brings students together and lets them share their backgrounds, customs, traditions and flavours. Each year, the events attract greater numbers of participants. We’ll see you there next year!