International Buffet brings a world of food to Hill

A Dutch wooden shoe wrapped in the colors of the flag of the Netherlands serves as a table centerpiece during the International Buffet at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 1, 2017. The annual event offered guests food from 12 countries. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

A Dutch wooden shoe wrapped in the colors of the flag of the Netherlands serves as a table centerpiece during the International Buffet at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 1, 2017. The annual event offered guests food from 12 countries. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

Indonesian Foreign Liaison Officer Maj. H. L. Tobing and spouse, Shinta, place food on the table representing their country during the International Buffet at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 1, 2017. The annual event offers Foreign Liaison Officers and their families to share their food and culture with colleagues and friends. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

Indonesian Foreign Liaison Officer Maj. H. L. Tobing and spouse, Shinta, place food on the table representing their country during the International Buffet at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 1, 2017. The annual event offers Foreign Liaison Officers and their families to share their food and culture with colleagues and friends. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

F-16 Foreign Liaison Officers and their families pose for a group photo before the 2017 International Buffet begins at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 1, 2017. The annual event brings food from around the world to Hill AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

F-16 Foreign Liaison Officers and their families pose for a group photo before the 2017 International Buffet begins at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 1, 2017. The annual event brings food from around the world to Hill AFB. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

Martijn De Boer fills cups at the Dutch table during the International Buffet at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 1, 2017. Nineteen Foreign Liaison Officers and their families offered food and drink from 12 countries during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

Martijn De Boer fills cups at the Dutch table during the International Buffet at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 1, 2017. Nineteen Foreign Liaison Officers and their families offered food and drink from 12 countries during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

Danish cultural items sit atop a table during the International Buffet at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 1, 2017. Twelve countries were represented with food and culture by F-16 Foreign Liaison Officers and their families during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

Danish cultural items sit atop a table during the International Buffet at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, March 1, 2017. Twelve countries were represented with food and culture by F-16 Foreign Liaison Officers and their families during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo/R. Nial Bradshaw)

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.