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The CWRU Cooking Club encourages community through food

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Beyond providing the nutrition that fuels human life, food is a universal language at the heart of traditions dating back to the dawn of time.

On National Kitchen Day (September 25), everyone is encouraged to think about how food brings family and friends together, whether for holiday dinners, celebratory occasions, get-togethers or, in the case from the Case Western Reserve University Cooking Club, daily gatherings.

The CWRU Cooking Club provides students with ongoing opportunities to talk, laugh, and grow their social networks, while preparing shared home-cooked meals from diverse cultural backgrounds. Past recipes the members have made include falafel gyros, authentic nachos, veggie eggs Benedict, carbonara, sushi, and latke, a Jewish potato pancake. The club also fosters community by collaborating with other student groups on campus such as Case For Sight and the Black Student Union.

To learn more about the club and the other dishes they have prepared, The Daily spoke with some of its board members, including Kevin Liu, one of the club’s six founders.

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Read on to find out why the club was created and get some tips for cooking your own masterpiece.

Responses have been edited for clarity and length.

Kevin Liu

Liu, founder and vice president of the CWRU Cooking Club, is a fourth-year neuroscience and psychology student who has been involved with the club since its inception four years ago.

What led you to participate in the creation of the CWRU Cooking Club?

Cooking together in first-year halls of residence [students] This is where the idea of ​​forming a club was born. As we cooked, we realized that it would be great to involve more people and use university funding to bring people together to try new foods.

What is your favorite dish that you have cooked?

We made pork balls twice, following my mom’s recipe, so that’s special to me.

Any advice for novice chefs?

Do not be afraid. It can be really intimidating, [but] it’s okay to use a recipe and make mistakes. Part of [cooking] is about making mistakes and realizing what you can do better next time – the only way to learn is to try.

What are you expecting this year at the CWRU?

As COVID-19 has been brought under better control, I am happy to see the [traditional] feedback from university experience. As this is my fourth year, I will be phasing out, so I look forward to introducing new board members to the team and passing the torch.

Winston Li

Li, the president of the CWRU Cooking Club, is a third-year nutritional biochemistry and metabolism student with a minor in communications who has been involved with the club for three years.

What got you involved in the CWRU Cooking Club?

I always loved to cook when I was a kid. Growing up, I hung out with my mom at dinnertime and learned my skills from her. I’m more of a baker than a cook, but [the club] really helps me.

What is your favorite dish that you have cooked?

Jianbing, a traditional Chinese pancake made with wheat, grains, eggs, sauces and different fillings like green onions, fried pork rind or wonton skin.

Any advice for novice chefs?

Don’t be intimidated. Cook what the heart desires and don’t be afraid to try new things. And don’t be disappointed in yourself if you [aren’t] satisfied with what you are doing. Eating is fun, so might as well learn how to eat.

What are you expecting this year at the CWRU?

I am delighted with our increased funding and our new storage system. We have a very efficient wire rack which means there are no more things to store in the lockers, our wet towels can be hung up to dry and we have room for extra spice scraps. This [increased budget] opens up new possibilities and more space for future equipment like an air fryer or an ice cream maker.

Juniper Duncan

Duncan, the club’s social media president, is a third-year cognitive science and psychology student who has been with the club for three years.

What got you involved in the CWRU Cooking Club?

I had the time and the means to get involved. I heard they were a fun bunch of people who made great food and I’m a fun person who loves to make food so I thought I might as well introduce myself and I love that from.

What is your favorite dish that you have cooked?

Roti Rendang, a flaky flatbread with beef curry.

Any advice for novice chefs?

You never know what’s going to happen, so have fun while you cook.

What are you expecting this year at the CWRU?

We have a lot more members this year, so to see it grow and also be able to make more food in general.

Looking to get involved on campus? Explore hundreds of student organizations and find your niche.