After a brief obsession with the idea of owning a food truck, I am seeking opportunities to learn how to cook foods outside of mechanically-processed meat molded into dino shapes and bags full of vegetables nuked for 3 minutes, 45 seconds. I happened upon a flyer posted at Cafe Lumos in the Purdue Research Park advertising Wednesday evening cooking lessons on campus. I noticed the flyer in time to sign up for November’s Chinese cooking lesson. The class was sold out. I thoroughly enjoyed the lesson and joined the International Center’s mailing list.
The International Center on Purdue’s campus hosts monthly cooking lessons. Without much publicity about the event, attendance has been waning this semester. Which is why you should sign up.
This month’s lesson was taught by the lovely Onsun Song, a Seoul native. She has been living in West Lafayette for 11 years after moving her with her husband who has earned his PhD from Purdue. Her daughter, Yunsung, is studying Bio Chemistry at Purdue and helped translate questions for her mother. The evenings menu included traditional dishes, like kimchi, bossam, and japchae. I was excited to learn from Yunsung’s mother, who cooks traditional meals for her family every night of the week. The lesson was thorough and each student had printed recipes to follow. The atmosphere was friendly and open.
Questions were asked freely and Onsun answered the best she could in English and looked to her daughter for assistance when necessary for the sake of fluid conversation. They were a great team and a pleasure to watch. Onsun cooked quickly and quietly. Techniques were used that completely bewildered me. Onsun used instant coffee to remove the odor of cooking pork and rice cooking wine to remove the smell of cooking beef. She noted that traditional kimchi is kept in a ceramic jar in the earth, underground for fermenting but now there are special refrigeration units that keep the kimchi and the proper temperature for aging. I asked Yunsung what her favorite Korean restaurant in the Lafayette area was. She laughed coyly and said that they were very Americanized.
An Italian cooking class is pending for March 27th if enough people sign up. Email the International Center at email@example.com or call 765-743-4353 to reserve a spot.
Beautiful pictures provided by Michael Dick of ISPhotographic.