The Ready for the World Café is resuming its annual luncheon series this month and looks to be a way for students to immerse themselves in a culture not familiar to them.
    
On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the Café will host the second of its 10-week luncheon series with food and a cultural experience of Japan.
    
Tuesdays at noon for each of the next nine weeks, one student in hotel, restaurant and tourism (HRT) puts together an individual café meal at the UT Visitor’s Center on Neyland Drive. The student markets for the café, decides the menu, finds the recipes and measures the ingredients. Then, the student gives the information to a collaboration at Pellissippi State Community College, who prepare the lunch.
    
“Ready for the World is a huge project undertaken by students in the class,” Megan Cole, senior in food science and technology, said. “In our 400-level HRT class, we take everything we have learned throughout the semester and apply it to the Café.”
   
 Students can expect more than just traditional food at the Ready for the World Café.
   
 “There have been times in the past when the Café has had traditional dancers or guest speakers,” Cole said. “It just depends. I know for next week, there will be a drawing.”
   
 Each Ready for the World Café serves an appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert. On Tuesday, the luncheon will feature Japanese-themed items like Yakitori, Tonkatsu and Daigakuimo.
    
“I went to one of the luncheons about this time last year,” Mark Walker, senior in nuclear engineering, said. “The dishes were really representative of the country’s cuisine.”
    
The café prefers tickets be purchased before attending the luncheon.
   
 “For $12, students get a quality lunch and a unique cultural experience,” Cole said. “Plus, the profits go toward a scholarship fund for HRT students. The faculty receive their usual discount, and this year, we’re fortunate to have US Foods sponsoring $350 to purchase food for the Café.”
    
“I would definitely recommend going at least once, especially if it’s a culture you’re interested in,” Walker said. “It was a really good experience, and the food was worth the money.”
   
 Students can call Marcia Johnson at (865) 974-6645 or visit 110 Jesse Harris Building for tickets.