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Monthly videos offer taste of the world

Monthly videos offer taste of the world


SUNY Cortland students, faculty and staff from Japan, India, Nigeria and other nationalities will give viewers a look at how they make their favorite foods during the Virtual Cultural Cooking Series of monthly demonstration videos.

Sponsored by SUNY Cortland’s International Programs, the series aims to run throughout the spring semester and is free and open to the public.

The first video in the series, of Kanon Ashizawa ’20 from Japan teaching her audience how to make the traditional Japanese sweet Shiratama-Dango, wrapped up this year’s International Education Week celebration at SUNY Cortland, from Nov. 16 to 20.

Kanon Ashizawa ’20 has shared a favorite recipe from Japan.

“We’re very excited about this new virtual cooking series,” said Kayla DeCoste, senior international program coordinator with International Programs. “We hope to post at least one more demonstration before the end of the Fall semester and then release videos monthly during the spring semester.”

So far, current or recently graduated international students have volunteered to present additional demonstrations of Indian, Nigerian and Japanese culinary delights.

“We’re still looking for volunteers for further upcoming demonstrations,” DeCoste said.

“We’re also hoping that some of our international faculty or staff members, or our returned study abroad students may be interested in participating as well,” she said.

Assembled for the first video was ingredients for the traditional Japanese dessert.

The cost of supplies or ingredients will be covered. Any international student, faculty or staff member, or returned study abroad student who would be interested in participating in the series should contact DeCoste to sign up. 

This is the first time that International Programs has had students create videos of cooking demonstrations, DeCoste noted. However, International Programs has hosted live cultural cooking demonstrations in the past. The most recent was a sushi-making demonstration in Fall 2019, conducted in conjunction with the International Club and Cortland Auxiliary.

“We anticipate that the Virtual Cultural Cooking Series will continue once we’re able to return to more in-person programming,” DeCoste said. Either it would merge with the existing Cultural Presentation series or become its own ongoing in-person series.

“In addition, we’re hoping to combine the recipes for which demonstrations are done, with recipes gathered from other members of the SUNY Cortland international community — and maybe some American ones too — into a community cookbook,” she said. “I’m hoping to start working on that project in the spring semester.”

The finished Japanese dish Shiratama-Dango is displayed.

For those who missed out on any of the past week’s events, the contents of International Education Week were compiled into one easy location on the Programs and Activities page under the “International Education Week” heading.