By Jareliz Diaz

Students put their culinary skills to the test at Food Fusion Feud, MIXED’s first cooking competition, hosted at the Asian American Cultural Center on February 11.

The goal of this cooking competition was to create a dish that represented different cultures and ethnicities.

Participants were divided into teams and given an hour and a half to complete their dishes. Once the dishes were completed the judges did a tasting and chose a winner for the best dish. The winners were given treats and t-shirts at the end of the competition.

Students rush to make their mixed culture dish. MIXED, an organization within AsACC, hosted the event. (Photo: LJ Karam/Feb. 11, 2019)

The coordinator of the event, Nadejah Green, said she was planning this for a long time. Green said her upbringing inspired her to move forward with this idea.

“My culture was really shown through food. For a lot of people, it’s like that as well especially for mixed people who have a hard time discovering their own identity, so I thought it’d be cool to have people showcase their identity through food,” Green said.

The ASaCC room was full of students that anxiously awaited the turn out of events. At the end of the night, students were also able to try the mixed meals created by the teams. Students were also surprised at just how well these foods came together and made a savory dish.

The teams dishes had influences from Asian cultures, Latinx cultures and European cultures.

One of the cultural dishes that included Asian and European influences. (Photo: Jareliz Diaz/Feb. 11, 2019)

One of the judges for the competition, Miles Davis, said he was looking forward to what students create and how they would combine foods from different cultures as a single meal.

“I was trying to think of dishes I would come up with, and I had a really hard time, so I’m really curious to see what people come up with and how it turns out, it can go either really well or really bad,” Davis said.

Davis said he hopes MIXED grows as an organization after that night and picks up new members after the showcase of the event.

The winners of the competition, Trajan Murphy and Junior Gabriel Lozada-Rodriguez, said they enjoyed that they were able to get very creative with their foods.

Murphy and Lozada cooked dumplings with chorizo inside and rice with influences from Mexican and Asian cultures.

“I am so glad all these people came to the event. Many people don’t usually cook, but we were able to get three teams to participate, and they all showed up and showed out. So did all these people that wanted to taste what everyone had to offer,” Murphy said.

Trajan Murphy and Junior Gabriel Lozada-Rodriguez stand with t-shirts from PRLACC-associated mentoring program, METAS. (Photo: LJ Karam/Feb. 11, 2019)

Rodriguez said he loves the idea of the event and was excited to cook and participate.

“I think this event is important because there are a lot of cultures represented at UConn, and events like this make that clear,” Rodriguez said.

Students who participated the event were satisfied and hope this event continues on to next year.