Cooking up Cultural Connections

global gastronomy

Students explore cultures through cooking international cuisine

by Katya Hrichak '17 

If you’re looking for fellow students to cook with or a diverse array of foods from around the world to sample, look no further than the Global Gastronomy Group (GGG), a campus organization dedicated to making and eating food from different cultures and countries.

When Associate Professor of French Catherine Beaudry founded the GGG 10 years ago, she was just looking for a way to make use of the kitchen in the Stern Center. “It’s a restaurant quality kitchen, and no one was using it,” she says. “I thought, this is a waste of a facility.”

Determined to change that, she called upon the language departments to engage their students by cooking foods from their respective areas of study. Soon students from all over campus were involved, from the students majoring in foreign languages to international students, to other students interested in global cuisine.

In the past decade, students have taken over and kept the GGG alive, hosting cooking as well as baking events to include those who want to participate without preparing and eating a full meal.

“I joined the club because I really enjoyed cooking and wanted to meet other people who did as well,” says Erik Calvo Fielding ’19 (chemistry), GGG vice president. “I went to a couple events last year and really enjoyed them.”

The GGG plans monthly events, which are advertised through the events calendar and posters around campus, and caps attendance at 25 participants to avoid cramming the kitchen—and the events typically reach that capacity. In the past, the group has brought international and American students together to compare how they cook their eggs, prepared a Canadian Thanksgiving and taken what Beaudry calls a “virtual Mediterranean cruise,” cooking and consuming foods from Malaga, Barcelona, Italy, Greece and Morocco. Calvo Fielding says that in more recent years, the club has made an effort to ensure there are always vegan and vegetarian options available at each of their events.

Beaudry emphasizes that participation in the GGG is a great way to get to know other cultures through their food. Additionally, she says, “Students can get involved not only with their ears and eyes but with their noses and taste buds.”

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Published May 3, 2017