On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, International Cafe ことばハウス (Kotoba House) held a cooking competition themed ‘world food.’ The event which was organized by APU student TSUKAMOTO ‘Mi’ Misaki (College of Asia Pacific Studies (APS) 4th year, Japan) aimed to promote the newly opened cafe and find a new addition to its international oriented menu. APU students from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam took part in the competition. The contest was divided into two categories, main dish and dessert. The first category was won by NGUYEN ‘Alex’ Dac Minh Duc, (Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies (GSA) 1st year, Vietnam) with Chicken Pie, a comfort food from England where he lived in for five years. The winning dessert was suong sao, the Vietnamese rendition of refreshing grass jelly popular across Chinese cultural sphere and South East Asia, prepared by TRAN Thi Bich (GSA 2nd year, Vietnam) and DANG Hoai Huong (Graduate School of Management 2nd year, Vietnam).
Event organizer TSUKAMOTO, who also helps run the cafe said that Kotoba House aims to become a space for students and young people to hang out with friends, do group study or even just relax while enjoying the atmosphere. The cafe is designed to encourage people from different cultures to get together and enjoy meals and drinks from all around the world. Kotoba House owner and book writer MISAKI Eiichiro said that he has an experience attending cooking event involving people from various countries, and thinks that sharing meals with people from different culture is a form of cultural exchange. For him, the cafe is an attempt to share with others what is good from each country through meals. Therefore, he approached APU students NATSUKAWA Masayuki (APS 4th year, Japan) and YAMAGATA Takuya (APS 5th year, Japan) whose previous attempt of running a cafe in Yufuin was covered in some mass media (including a FAFA article here), and TSUKAMOTO who has experience organizing several cultural exchange events in Beppu City to manage the cafe.
Kotoba House is located at H Building, 2-1-28 Kitahama, Beppu just a couple of minutes away from Beppu station. The cafe opens from 10.00 AM to midnight. Similar cooking competition is due to be held in June.