UT Italian Club hosts international dessert contest

On Friday, Nov. 21 the University of Tennessee’s Italian Club hosted its first Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literature’s dessert contest.

Russian presenters speak to the individuals that attend the competition. Teresa Cooper/TNJN

Russian presenters.
Russian presenters at the event speak to the individuals attending.
Teresa Cooper/TNJN

On Friday, Nov. 21 the University of Tennessee’s Italian Club hosted its first Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literature’s dessert contest.

The idea to host this event came up during an Italian Club meeting. Italian Club advisor Renée D’Elia-Zunino explains their inspiration.

“We thought, why don’t we have a culinary competition amongst each other, amongst the people of the club,”said D’Elia-Zunino.“ Then I thought, why not extend it to members of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures.”

The eight languages that competed were Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, French, German, Japanese and Arabic.

Two students representing each language presented to the judges in the target language and in English.

Each language had three student judges, with the exception of special guest judge, former UT football head coach, Phillip Fulmer.

“I thought that was wonderful because it’s football season, first of all, and the kids are all engaged in football,” said D’Elia-Zunino.

Fulmer was excited to be a special guest judge because of his wife, Vicky Fulmer.

French entry of La Piece Montee.
The French entry of La Piece Montee won 3rd place.
Teresa Cooper/TNJN

“My wife, Vicky is an adult student, “said Fulmer. “She has become very fond of her teacher and the group. They’ve received her very well, and she enjoys it. And then there’s the celebrity part of it, I guess.”

Fulmer expected it to be not so easy when determining a winner.

“Seeing what I saw in there, it certainly probably will be [hard], but we’ll have a lot of fun with it,” said Fulmer.

Some of the things he was going to look for while judging were presentation and taste.

Fulmer said, “Presentation is important. As with any food or dessert or anything, obviously the taste will be important. I’m kind of an apple pie and ice cream kind of guy. I guess a little bit southern.”

Tiramisú was the Italian club’s entry as D’Elia-Zunino discusses, “It’s well known everywhere in the world. It has a very interesting history that most people ignore and that’s what we tried to tell on our poster.”

After the presentations and tastings were finished, Paige Winter, the President of the Italian Club and host, presented the winner.

Third place went to French entry of La Pièce Montée. Second place went to the Russian entry of Medovik.

Russian entry of Medovik.
Russian entry of Medovik.
Teresa Cooper/TNJN

First place went to the Italian entry of Tiramisú.

Italian entry of Tiramisu.
Italian entry of Tiramisu.
Teresa Cooper/TNJN

As Winter announced the winner she laughed, “I promise this was not fixed.”

D’Elia-Zunino hopes that this event, while not only fun, was also an educational experience for all involved.

For information on the MFLL Department, click here.

Edited by Jessica Carr