By | February 3, 2010 12:00 am

ORLANDO, Feb. 3, 2010 — Students from UCF’s College of Medicine sponsored a multi-cultural celebration Friday to honor the diversity of their heritages. The event featured music, costumes and food from the students’ and staffs’ native lands, including Cuban flan, Irish soda bread, Indonesian bami and American deviled eggs.

Medical student Uchechi Anumudu, a native of Nigeria, said the celebration was a way to honor the charter class’ diversity. “Understanding other people’s perspectives and learning from different points of view is a huge part of medicine,” she said. “As medical students, it’s a joy how much we learn from each other. We can talk about anything.”

Dr. Deborah German, dean of the College of Medicine, echoed those sentiments when she spoke of the pride she felt at a recent meeting in Washington D.C. when a colleague asked, “How diverse are your students?” She noted that College of Medicine students speak 16 different languages and were born in locations ranging from Egypt to Puerto Rico, Albania to Ohio. “Yet we’re also largely Floridians, which is a state of many cultures,” she added.

The celebration culminated with a contest for the most popular international dish. Because the competition was so tough, the judges selected two winners. The “main dish award” went to medical student Romeo Joseph for his baked chicken stuffed with ground beef and mushrooms. The “best dessert” winner was Associate Professor Jonathan Kibble, for his British Bakewell Tart.

Medical student Virgil Secasanu, who was born in Romania, said the celebration was a chance for students, faculty and staff to break away from studies and work to “bond like a family. It helps us take time to appreciate what makes us unique.”

Romeo the Cook
Winner Shares His Awesome Recipe for Baked Chicken

Romeo Joseph says his award-winning baked chicken recipe “is simple. I just made it up.” But while many of us struggle with creating recipes, this medical student-chef boldly developed his culinary skills through “trial and error.”

Romeo said he salted and seasoned a whole fryer and then let the flavors absorb into the chicken for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, he browned a pound of ground beef and combined it with mushroom sauce and stuffing. He stuffed the chicken with the mushroom mixture, brushed oil on the outside of the bird, applied more seasoning and baked it. The result: a savory, flavorful, comfort food dish that was a hit at Friday’s multi-cultural celebration.

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