The Department of Campus Recreation – in collaboration with the Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion – has created Conversation Kitchen, a unique series of culinary workshops designed to explore the significant influence that food has in defining and shaping culture across the world. Each free workshop will focus on an area of the world undergoing conflict and transformation today. What is the role of food in mediating conflict, communicating values, solving problems, reflecting locale, and expressing our common humanity? Chef Jessica VanRoo, Campus Recreation culinary education director, will present a three-course menu with dishes from the region. Hosts representing the countries in question will be present during the workshop to discuss their food traditions and experiences. Participants will gain an understanding of different cultures by sharing a meal among friends.
Chef Jessica VanRoo holds a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management and a Certificate in Chinese Cooking from the Wei Chuan Cooking Academy in Taipei, Taiwan. She served as the assistant culinary director for Sur La Table, as well as a faculty member at Orange County School of the Arts, before joining UCI Campus Recreation in 2010.
The Conversation Kitchen series also is supported by Illuminations, the Program in Religious Studies, the International Student Excellence Programs (ISEP) and UCI Libraries