The International Foods Club kicked off its year together by enjoying various Chinese meals from Tommy’s Wok, such as kung pao chicken, lightly battered in a piquant sauce and garnished with cashews, or a sweet rice and pork combination wrapped up in a lotus leaf.
By dining on the traditional foods from other nations, the club aims to introduce Carmel High students to different cultures through culinary experiences.
“The International Foods Club is designed to expose our student body to culture through food,” club adviser Tricia Bean says. “It’s an informal opportunity for kids to get together and dine, but also to branch out and try new things and to try new foods from other places, learn a little bit about other cultures.”
The members of the club meet and dine together bi-monthly on cultural cuisines from local restaurants. After eating, members discuss experiences they have had with the particular culture or country from which the food originates.
“Not only do I get to taste new and delicious food every week, but I also get to learn about the culture surrounding it,” senior Audrey Moonan notes. “It is meant to be a fun gathering where we can all enjoy food and learn about different cultures together.”
If possible, the club will have a member of the community with knowledge of the culture they are discussing speak to the club.
“We had Mr. DePalatis come in and talk with us when we were dining on Japanese food, and so he came in and showed us pictures of his experience in Japan,” Bean shares. “He taught us some cultural nuances about how you would eat or different customs you might find in that culture.”
The club meets every Thursday at lunch in Room 19, alternating weekly between choosing the cuisine and restaurant from which they wish to dine and enjoying the meals.
Bean stresses that the International Foods Club does not give out meals for free: “That’s a little bit of a misconception, some people feel like when you join the club you get a bunch of free food. You end up paying for your meals, and plus enough for tax and tip.”
But as adviser Kay Vetter notes, “The International Foods Club is dedicated to bringing culture to CHS in a fun and tasty way.”