2017 Food Olympics

Originally published: 
February, 2017

More than 200 SEAS students, faculty, and staff gathered in the Ford Commons on February 15 for the 2017 Food Olympics. This annual event celebrates the diverse cultures and cuisines that make up the Dana Building population.

Cultures represented included China, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Sweden, Taiwan, and various regions of the United States. Participants sampled each global cuisine and voted on the “best of the best.” 

A team of students representing the southern United States took first place for brewing up a steamy pot of Shrimp Etouffee—a spicy shrimp stew served over rice. Sporting the utmost pride for her home state of Texas, team captain Mary Jones served her maternal grandmother’s recipe.

“It’s a traditional gulf-coast, creole dish that my Mamaw cooks every year for Christmas and is a family favorite,” said Jones. “My mother’s family is from a small town called Angleton, off the coast of southern Texas. This dish reminds me of warm holidays with family in the best state!”

Team South Korea

Team South Korea was excited to receive second place with their flavorful kimchi fried rice and bulgogi*

Team Indonesia took third place for a delicious nasi kuning* recipe. In Indonesian culture, nasi kuning is often served in festive occasions and symbolizes good fortune, prosperity, wealth and dignity for its gold-like resemblance.  

Other traditional dishes included dal*, curried chicken, and rice from India; gronsakbullar*, kortbullar*, and potatoes from Sweden; a BBQ platter from Taiwan/Hong Kong; and Boluofan* (pineapple rice) from China.

Kaihui Song, team leader for the group representing China, explained, "Boluofan is a sweet staple that is perfect as a side dish for hot and spicy Yunnan food. It is nutritious and people love it, especially those living near the tropical areas that are abundant with pineapple and coconut products." 

"This kind of event is very important," she said, "because it is an inclusive, multi-cultural event that allows people to share their treasured and cherished foods with others.” 


Team China






* bulgogi = grilled marinated beef


* nasi kuning = turmeric rice


* dal = lentils


* kortbullar = meatballs


* gronsakbullar = vegetable balls


* Boluofan = pineapple rice

For more photos, click here.