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Cultural Cuisine Series takes taste buds home

Jade Herrscher, Entertainment Writer
December 12, 2012
Filed under Entertainment

Want to experience food from another culture? Indian chicken curry or herbed Jordanian couscous? How about Coq au Vin, a traditional French stew? Or satisfy a sweet tooth with some baklava, a common desert in Macedonia. These and many more dishes can be tasted by attending UW-Green Bay’s Cultural Cuisine Series.

As part of the series, a Holiday Luncheon feast was held Dec. 7 in the Phoenix Rooms of University Union. The luncheon featured a typical holiday menu including carved roast turkey with gravy, green bean casserole, garlic redskin potatoes, waldorf salad, apple pecan stuffing, cranberry jelly, dinner rolls and caramel apple bars.

Each year the Cultural Cuisine Series features three other luncheons with ethnic food and a speaker from the highlighted culture.

Poppy Grant, the series coordinator, said there are three main goals for the luncheons. The first is to promote services and showcase the chef’s work.

“The chefs always do an amazing job and continue to wow me,” Grant said. “Other members of the staff have a chance to show off their talents and knowledge as well when they perform music or speak about the chosen culture.”

The second goal of the Cultural Cuisine Series is to diversify people’s eating habits and expand their knowledge of different cultures.

“We try to encourage people to open their mind to other cultures and increase their desire to travel around the world,” Grant said. “The Cultural Cuisine Series falls right in line with the school’s new theme of 360º of Learning.”

As for Grant’s personal goals in the series, she says she tries to make each luncheon unique.  Surveys are distributed and customers are asked what types of food they would like to see at future luncheons.  Grant is in charge of choosing the cuisine and says Italian is always a popular choice.

In order to please everyone, she must find a balance between price, customer preference, the chef’s willingness to make the food and availability of a speaker.

Fazli Ademi, chef for A’viands, has worked at the university for four years and has been preparing menus for the luncheons since he started. He creates the recipes on his own but has a sous chef to help prepare them.

“I like working with people and helping them learn to cook,” Ademi said. “My hope is that I can lead them in the direction to utilize their full potential and become a great chef.”

Ademi is originally from Macedonia and has studied in Germany and many locations in the U.S.

“I get my knowledge of different cultural cuisines not only from school, but working at different restaurants as well,” Ademi said. “Before coming to the U.S., my favorite type of food to cook was Italian, but after working at the Rock Garden in Green Bay for six years, I found a new passion for French food because it is a little more upscale and I can do more with it.”

John Salerno, associate music professor and Adam Gaines, associate professor, played a variety of holiday music for this year’s Holiday Luncheon.

An opportunity to have a good time, taste another culture’s cuisine and possibly win a door prize was found at the Cultural Cuisine Series. Door prizes included tickets to sporting events, the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, movies and future cultural cuisines.

Tickets are available up until three days before each event.  Students can receive tickets for future Culture Cuisine Series events at discount rush prices at Student Ticketing Services.