Saturday, April 24, 2010

Updated: Haitian lunch benefits earthquake victims

Michigan Tech students Edrich Ramos of Puerto Rico and Ahyoung Park of South Korea line up for the Khana Khazana Haitian lunch served on Friday, April 23, in the Michigan Tech MUB food court. Half of the $6 price for the authentic meal, prepared by Haitian graduate student Fredline Ilorme, will go to Haitian earthquake relief efforts. Park worked for the Khana Khazana international food series as a cook and server and was principal chef for the Korean meal served earlier this semester. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- A delicious Haitian lunch of pain patate (sweet potato pudding), rice and beans, chicken in Haitian sauce and fried plantains in sauce concluded the Khana Khazana ("food treasure") series of international meals served on Fridays in the Michigan Tech Memorial Union Building (MUB) food court this semester.

Prepared by Haitian graduate student Fredline Ilorme, this particular meal was a benefit for earthquake victims in her country, with 50 percent of the $6 tab going to Haitian relief efforts.

Yihong Yao of China serves a vegetarian version of the Apr. 23 Haitian lunch (all but the chicken) to Michigan Tech Professor Noel Urban of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. In the background are, from left, Khana Khazana server Mari Luz Miguelez from Spain and Sahil Thakkar from India, Khana Khazana coordinator. Click on photo for a closer look at the Haitian cuisine. Not pictured, but also assisting as a server, was Jeremy Mannikko of Houghton, Dining Services student employee.

"When I think of Haitian food, I think of the food that generations of Haitians have been eating for centuries," Ilorme said. "Food shapes Haitians' life and society in many ways and it was my pleasure to share some of the typical Haitian food with Michigan Tech, Houghton-Hancock community and surrounding areas."

Ilorme expressed her appreciation to all who have helped her in fund-raising efforts for the earthquake victims. The Khana Khazana international food series also began with a meal for Haiti on Jan. 29.

"I have done my best to bring the public the best taste of Haiti while asking for their help in the Haitian earthquake relief efforts," Ilorme added. "I am glad that the public responded so well and I thank everyone who has made the lunch possible -- especially Sahil Takkar for the Khana Khazana; Eric Karvonen, MUB executive chef director; Robert Wenc for his encouragement; international program services and countless others who helped during the food preparation. Also, many thanks to Keweenaw Now and its readers for being so supportive of Haiti."

Khana Khazana has been popular with students, faculty and community visitors and will return next fall. Plans include more variety in food and more food representing different nations: Ghana, Pakistan, Japan and many more.

Sheraaron Hurt of Detroit said it was the first time she had eaten Haitian food and she was on her second helping. Hers was just one of many positive comments heard in the cafeteria Friday.*

Khana Khazana is a collaborative effort of international students and Dining Services.

New Update: Tech Today reported on Apr. 27 that the two Haitian benefit lunches cooked by international students raised $1,024 this semester for Haitian earthquake victims' relief. One half of the lunch proceeds were donated to the Bush-Clinton Relief Fund.

* Editor's Note: While I've never been a great fan of sweet potatoes, I found the pain patate to be délicieux! Merci, Fredline!

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