Triple B-Day BBQ

My Thai slaw

This past week was BBQ night for COME ETE.  There were three birthdays to celebrate in the class (shout out to Aiwei, JeeHoon, and Keith!), and it only seemed right to do it in Ithaca’s Stewart Park – one of the most scenic places for a cookout I’ve ever been to.  For the event, I made the Thai slaw from above (think classic coleslaw with coconut milk, red curry past, lime, cilantro, and basil).

The highlight of the night, though, was a couple of birthday cakes made by Joanna, who just happens to be a professional pastry chef.  I must admit, life is pretty good when you’re among friends, outside, eating a slice of homemade raspberry-lemon cake.



Keith's tamales

Huge bonus of going to grad school for hospitality: a lot of your classmates know their way around the kitchen.  I’m talking professional chefs.  Even better, the ones that come from the other side of the planet can make stuff you’ve never even heard of before.  As you might guess, being in this kind of environment has led to just one question:  how do I convince all these people to cook for me?

The answer has been my favorite part of the year so far: COME ETE.  COME ETE (short for the Community Of MMH’ers Experiencing Enlightenment Through Eating) is basically a weekly supper club.  Anyone can come, so long as they bring a food or drink that fits with the week’s theme.  I got the idea from dinners Laura has been throwing in NYC.   The premise is simple – food is best homemade, meals are best enjoyed with friends – and the results speak for themselves.

Jess's beautiful curried corn wontons in coconut broth. Click the image to see more of her photos

To give an example of the caliber of these things, some of the dishes at the “Summertime” supper were Vietnamese fried rice, watermelon gazpacho, corn with cilantro pesto, Shaker lemon pie with homemade olive oil ice cream, and a dessert soup made from Chinese fungus.  They’re feasts to the most bizarre degree and I’m unreasonably lucky to be a part of them.