International Buffet brings a world of food

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HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — F-16 Foreign Liaison Officers (FLO) and their families shared food, drink and culture from 12 countries with colleagues and friends during the annual International Buffet here, March 1.

Culinary offerings from Belgium, Thailand, Denmark, Turkey, Japan, Poland, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Indonesia, Portugal, Korea and Israel were served from tables adorned with cultural and informational displays during the event.

“We have this event to share our culture, especially our food culture, but also our customs,” said Anouchka Boedt, organizer of this year’s event and spouse of Belgian FLO Maj. Loic Boedt. “Everyone here has something unique about their country and we don’t have a lot of opportunities outside of work for everyone to be together and share.”

A total of 19 FLOs and their families prepared a variety of authentic dishes, sides, desserts, candies and drinks unique to their country of origin. Each country prepared enough food to feed roughly 40 people. Some served guests wearing traditional clothing from their homeland.

Finne Van Denput, 9-year-old daughter of Belgian FLO Maj. Phillipe Van Denput, invited an off-base schoolmate with a family of nine children to come and experience the world of food and culture the venue presented.

“We open up the event to friends and family from on base, but also from off base,” said Boedt. “It’s really about people, meeting people and sharing with people.”

A silent auction and raffle were held to help cover the costs of hosting the gathering.

F-16 FLOs and their families are typically stationed at Hill Air Force Base for three years before returning to their home country.