Student Voices – Home is Where the Food Is.

This story was originally published in the October 2015 issue of Catalysm, ISAK’s student magazine.

Author: Emily
Home Country: JAPAN
ISAK Class of 2018

Student Voices – Home is Where the Food Is.

Food is life. In a world where we commonly hear such a phrase, I would like people to remember that eating food is not just a routine that we follow as human beings. Food is something that makes people smile. Food provides a sprinkle of happiness that makes one feel satisfied. Home to students from all around the world, ISAK has a diverse range of food and eating habits.  Here is a peek at the cuisine we enjoy at ISAK.

Cafeteria food

The food served in the cafeteria, where we eat three meals a day, is more complicated than you might imagine. Cezar’s kitchen prepares all meals for faculty and students, taking into consideration different religions, allergies and special diet habits.

Cezar’s Kitchen head chef, Adi, says that preparing food for 200 people, while responding to each of their needs, is quite challenging, but at the same time is a rewarding opportunity. He states that the health of students and faculty is what he considers most important when he is preparing food. Therefore, one thing he always does is to serve at least two vegetable dishes every meal. By any means, the students’ favorite meals are usually carbohydrates and the unhealthy or fatty foods. Chef Adi says he tries to balance the nutrients that students intake, and he hopes that by trying a variety of well-prepared foods, students will learn the deliciousness of vegetables and other healthy choices.

Chef Adi Photo by Pechdee – Thailand, ISAK Class of 2017

Breakfast generally consists of eggs, yogurt, cereal, and miso soup, with some type of bread such as pancakes or toast. It’s a gorgeous way to start the day; I end up eating a full-course breakfast everyday. The sweet scent of french toast wafting through the air as we walk down from the dorms to the cafeteria puts us in a happy mindset first thing in the morning.

There is always a long line for the noodle bar during lunch. It consists of a daily menu of ramen, soba or udon. As the weather gets colder, it seems like more people choose to get noodles to warm up their bodies. Adding toppings such as seaweed, onion, bamboo shoots and eggs might be a small joy for many students. In addition, the daily special lunches let us enjoy various types of ethnic food. Some of the students really look forward to getting “comfort food” that reminds them of home. The cafeteria is full of activity during lunch, as students choose from among the various options.

Photos by Pechdee – Thailand, ISAK Class of 2017

Dinner also changes daily, but always consists of a main dish, a side dish, salad, rice, soup, and dessert. Student favorites are hamburgers, croquette, salmon, and chicken cooked in tomato sauce. It is interesting to see how diverse our favorite foods are! It is also surprising to note that depending on how the ingredient is prepared, the popularity of that dish is different. I wonder how many of us notice that we like to eat the carrots cut in long strips rather than circles? Dessert portions are limited and are available “first come first serve,” so some students follow the adage, “eat dessert first” in order to always ensure they get their favorite sweets.

8 o’clock snacks

Why is everyone walking to the main building at 8pm? For 8 o’clock snacks! Studying makes us hungry and many students look forward to enjoying the 8 o’clock snack. The menu changes daily, but common snacks this fall are pumpkin cake, chocolate cake, muffins, and pears. The most popular snack is definitely the cream puffs, also known as choux a la creme. The name sounds like “Shoe Cream” in our brains, but it is rare to find any left after five seconds.

Food in the dorm

I have become used to falling asleep to the smell and sound of my roommates eating Cup Noodles. Although we eat a monstrous amount of food at dinner and snack time, we still get hungry late at night—we are teenagers. Many students prefer eating instant or pre-made food, as it can be made quickly even if you have a lot of homework. It is surprising to know that there are quite a lot of students who have never cooked or done anything in the kitchen before. Some students say they want to learn a few handy kitchen tips at ISAK and surprise their mothers when they go back home. There are also students who make real food from scratch on the weekend. Some students practice their skills in the ISAK Cooking Club. It is exciting to share dishes from our own countries with friends and roommates, and talk about our favorite foods.

Dorm food





夕飯も日替わりで、メイン、おかず、サラダ、白米、スープ、デザートが用意されている。生徒に特に人気な食事は、チキンのトマトソース煮、ハンバーグ、ビザ、コロッケ、焼き などがある。しかし、国柄によって好みも違うので、好物が必ずしも一致しないのが面白い。また、興味深いことに、食材の切り方や焼き方によって、美味しさも一層変わるらしい。縦長に切ってある人参のほうが、丸くギザギザに切ってある人参より人気なのは生徒も気づいているのだろうか?デザートは早い者勝ちで、制限をつけないと平等にわたらないこともある。デザートをとってから食事を取りに行くという技を身につけた生徒もいるようだ。





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Dear Friends of UWC ISAK,

UWC ISAK is celebrating its 10th anniversary! We are proud of where we’ve come from, and we are excited about the next decade.

At this important milestone, we are wondering – in pursuit of broadening our impact, could an ISAK Lower School be considered as one of the options and would it be feasible? A school that embraces ISAK values and vision for a better future?

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