The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The International Cuisine Club bridges cultures through food

After a successful first year, the club is expanding to explore cuisines beyond East Asian
Joanne Wang
Members of the International Cuisine Club create their own boba teas.

The International Cuisine Club (ICC) kicked off their second year at Washington and Lee University with a boba tea buffet on Nov. 5.

Originally from Taiwan, the tea-based drink typically accompanied by tapioca balls, called boba or pearls, has recently become extremely popular in the United States.

ICC’s event gave students the chance to experiment with various different ingredients to make their perfect boba drink. Attendees could pick from a variety of milk, boba types and toppings.

“I enjoyed the event a lot since it is creative and you get good boba,” Jessica Zhong, ’26, said. “I know people put in effort to make this happen, so I was also appreciative about the whole thing.”

Joanne Wang, ’25, the club’s president, said that as a food enthusiast, she wanted to create a club that was able to celebrate the many diverse culinary traditions that Washington and Lee’s international community has to offer.

“The ICC was born out of a passion for food and the belief in its transformative power to bring people together,” she said.

One of Wang’s main goals is to not only strengthen the bonds within the university community, but to enhance the culinary skills of students.

During their first year, the club focused heavily on East Asian cuisine. They hosted workshops in the Global Service House where students prepared dishes from countries such as Korea, Japan and China.

The Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year, was the biggest event the club hosted last year.

The club collaborated with the Office of Inclusion and Engagement to create an event where students had the opportunity to learn Chinese knot weaving, play traditional games and eat delicious dumplings.

The club’s commitment to sharing and celebrating international culture is also reflected in the rich history of some of their dishes.

One of Wang’s favorite dishes she made last year was Budae Jjiga, or army base stew, a spicy Korean stew that typically contains canned and processed ingredients.

The dish was created during a time where most Koreans lived in poverty. Korean citizens would gather any ingredient they could find before putting them in the stew. While the dish originated during conditions of poverty, it is one of the most popular comfort foods in Korea today.

Wang said one of the challenges in running the club is juggling their budget constraints with all the events they would like to host.

“We are exploring innovative ways to continue our culinary journey, even if it means scaling down the number of events,” she said.

This year, the club is focusing on Spanish and Mediterranean cuisines.

Two of the events they have planned is a Spanish cuisine workshop and a cooking competition.

The ICC also collaborated with the Student Association for International Learning (SAIL) to co-host a pierogi cooking class on Nov. 11 to celebrate Polish Independence Day.

The club plans to continue working with international and cultural clubs like SAIL to introduce Washington and Lee to a larger range of diverse cuisines.

“The joy of sharing such culinary experiences has been the heart of our club,” Wang said.

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