International Food Competition returns with dishes by students, chefs

After a three-year hiatus, the International Food Competition sponsored by the BHC Multicultural Entrepreneurial Center returned to the Quad-Cities Campus.

The 5th International Food Competition: Flavors Without Borders included dishes made by QC professional chefs and BHC students.

3 judges sitting at table with plates of food

Judges K.C. Ross aka Chef Keys (pictured on the left), LaTisha Howlett of Bayside Bistro (middle), and Leo Kaalberg of Out to Eat with Leo (right) selected the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners based on taste, creativity and presentation.

The student winners were:

  • 1st – Kali Patel – dish from India – $600 scholarship
  • 2nd – Joesph Pustejovsky – dish from Czechia – $400 scholarship
  • 3rd – Ramesh Basnet – dish from Nepal – $300 scholarship

The winning professional chefs were:

  • 1st – Jasmine Rizo, owner of Dulzura Cakery & Studio in Bettendorf, IA
  • 2nd – Jorge Hurtado Briseño, owner of Creative Pastry & Coffee in Silvis, IL
  • 3rd – Mary Lili Kwasek, aspiring chef

Also participating were BHC students:

  • Eastwood Adusei – dish from Ghana
  • Ma Aye – dish from Thailand
  • Ramesh Basnet – dish from Nepal
  • Daniel Bonzoe – dish from Ghana
  • Susmita Chaudhari – dish from Nepal
  • JoLicia Cooper – dish from USA/soul food
  • Guadalupe Gutknecht – dish from Mexico
  • Suzanne Koivogui – dish from Guinea
  • Carolina Hernandez Tamayo – dish from Mexico
  • Anna Pustejovsky – dish from France
  • Daniel Pustejovsky – dish from Czechia
  • Norman Robinson – dish from England
  • Jaleh Zarifian – dish from Iran (Persian)

Thank you to the event sponsors:

  • Ascentra Credit Union
  • Best of Times DJ Company
  • Greenwood Law
  • Illowa Construction Labor & Management Council
  • Optimist International, Breakfast Optimist Club

Thank you to the dancers who performed at the event:

  • Saheli Sheth and Saloni Sheth – Indian dance
  • Slav’s International Dance Group with MEC students – international dance

“This night could not have been possible without all the help of our beautiful-hearted volunteers,” said Loredana Cooper, Multicultural Entrepreneurial Center advisor.

“It has been truly amazing to see the students and volunteers come together as a team and to use their talents to serve their community,” she said.

View more photos from the 2023 event.

2019 – Students share native dishes at 4th International Food Competition
2018 – Students share native dishes at 2018 International Food Competition
2017 – Students share native dishes in International Food Competition
2016 – Students share native dishes in first International Food Competition