Miglena "Megi" Ivanova
International Food Festival participant
The Montana State University Billings international food fair is nearly here, and students are eager to show off the delicious flavors that they have brought from their home countries.
“If I’m proud of one thing, it’s our food,” said Miglena Ivanova, who goes by Megi. “I want to represent my country. Bulgarians are very patriotic people.”
Megi is from the coastal town of Varna, Bulgaria, and plans on preparing several dishes at the all-you-can-eat festival on March 21 featuring gourmet food from around the world. Salmon with cream sauce, delicious stuffed peppers, bread with cheese and yogurt, and sweet honey cookies are all on the menu from Bulgaria.
One thing that Megi misses most about her home is the food. “I really miss it,” said Megi. “When I cook it for my friends, they always like it.”
For bringing this taste of Bulgaria to Billings, Megi said that she wants “something for people with all kinds of different tastes.”
“Some of these dishes are very old. People have been doing them for centuries.”
So how does a girl from Varna, Bulgaria end up in Billings, Montana?
Megi said knew she wanted to move to Montana, and MSUB was the only school that offered a degree in psychiatric rehabilitation, which she is currently pursuing. Last semester, Megi made the MSUB Dean’s List with a spotless 4.0 grade point average. “I guess you could call me a perfectionist.”
Megi fell in love with Montana because of its beauty. “I love the nature, the mountains, the weather.” Megi spends her summers working in Yellowstone National Park enjoying the beauty of the outdoors.
However, nature hasn’t been the only thing which she has come to love. “People being so nice is always surprising. That doesn’t happen in a lot of places,” said Megi. “People here ask how you are and they actually care.”
Megi said that her favorite part of Montana has without a doubt been the people she has met. Because of them, she says that “my best memories are here in Montana.”
Megi plans on spending the next few years at MSUB completing her degree in psychiatric rehabilitation.
Food from Megi’s home country of Bulgaria, along with various other nations from around the world, will be featured at the MSUB food fair on Monday, March 21 from 4:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. in the MSUB cafeteria. Admission is $18.75 for adults and $13.75 for children ages 12 and under and features all-you-can-eat gourmet food. This event is open to the public.