Taste of Midwestern offers International Culinary Delights, Culture

International cuisine delights the Midwestern University community

Students stand in line for cultural dishes.

Students, faculty, and staff sampled a variety of culinary dishes at the Taste of Midwestern.

Midwestern University embraced its multicultural community by offering students, faculty, and staff the chance to sample a variety of dishes from several cultures at the Taste of Midwestern on the Downers Grove Campus.  The culinary cultures represented included Korean, Jamaican, Brazilian, Greek, Hispanic, Yemeni, and Palestinian.

“The Taste of Midwestern event is hosted every year to honor the cultures and cuisines of the students here at Midwestern University. I think that Midwestern University has such a wide group of people who decided to come here from multiple different backgrounds and just showing them that they’re welcome and that they’re honored is a part of the Midwestern culture,” said medical student Mihika Iyer (CCOM ’26), who helped organize the event. 

Several tables lined the Commons cafeteria and featured a variety of posters about different countries with accompanying cultural dishes sponsored by several student organizations. The dishes on display included Jamaican jerk-style chicken, quesadillas, Yemeni Adeni chai and pastries, Korean fried chicken with hot honey or soy flavors, several traditional Greek desserts, Brazilian Brigadeiro (chocolate truffles), and a Palestinian dish, Musakhan (chicken rolls). 

The Jamaican Jerk style chicken is on display.
One of the featured dishes was Jamaican Jerk Style Chicken. 

“Food is such an important part of culture. A deeper understanding of how we live is based in food,” said medical student Daniel Misioura (CCOM ’26). He also emphasized the importance of bonding with peers over food. “You may not know about each other’s cultures and events like this provide an opportunity.”

Some students heard about the event from their peers and decided to experience it for themselves. Medical students Daniel Kaufman (CCOM ’27) and Maryam Salik (CCOM ’27) said they were looking forward to trying the food and experiencing different cultures. “Diversity is an essential part of healthcare,” Daniel said.   

An understanding of international cultures, foods, as well as any food restrictions will help future healthcare professionals when they are caring for patients. Mihika added, “I’m an aspiring physician and we’re going to be treating people of all different cultural backgrounds. So having an interest and an understanding of other people’s cultures is really important. I think having events like this and widening our horizons is exactly what we need to be doing as professionals.”


Students gather by the Palestinian dish Musakhan.
Musakhan (chicken rolls), a staple of Palestinian culture, was a great favorite among the attendees. 


For some students, the Taste of Midwestern provided an opportunity to represent their culture with great pride. Optometry student Ranya Darwish (CCO ’27) said, “I’m here for the Palestine table. I attended to represent us and humanize ourselves, and this event is a good way. Diversity is important here at Midwestern University. The faculty come from different backgrounds, which is important in healthcare, and with representation comes accessibility. I plan on working with a diverse array of patients, and it’s important in healthcare to understand and represent other cultures.”

Mihika concluded, “I hope people at Midwestern University take away a little bit about enjoying and understanding other cultures. So, coming here, enjoying all the food, seeing the flags, it’s a totally different experience and I’ve heard people say it makes them feel welcome and at home. I truly think this event is going to be a longstanding tradition here at Midwestern University.”

Midwestern University offers a variety of student organizations on the Downers Grove and Glendale campuses as well as a plethora of degrees and programs.

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