1887 Bistro Hosts “Tour Around The USA” Cooking Demo for Chinese Study Abroad Students

By Olivia Chadwick

America, commonly referred to as a cultural “Melting Pot”, is
iconically known for the diverse populations and flavorful, rich dishes.
On July 23rd from 3:00-4:30 PM, NC State Dining invited over 70
visiting Chinese students to 1887 Bistro in Talley Student Union to
take a “tour” of the United States through that which unifies us- food.
The dining team highlighted menu items characteristic of the
Midwest, Southeast, Cali-Southwest, and Northeast regions of
America, to provide students with a wider perspective of traditional
foods found in the USA.

The cooking demo was led by two talented campus chefs, Gary
Tessinari and Hector Vega, who engaged with participants through
open-ended questions, personal anecdotes, and frequent jokes. Gary
showcased steps to make fried green tomatoes and Southern pimento
cheese, while Hector demonstrated how to cook a blended buffalo
burger to perfection. The students were thrilled to experience a live
demo of classic American cuisine, and even more excited to taste the

Chefs invited the Chinese students to sample fried green tomatoes
topped with pimento cheese, lobster rolls, baked okra, buffalo burgers
with bacon jam, seafood fritters with avocado crema, and traditional
clam chowder. Chilled sweet tea, the recognizable beverage of choice
in the South, was also served. Participants were also given handouts
explaining common foods found in four distinct culinary regions of
the United States, referencing many dishes found at the demo.
Overall, the study abroad students were delighted to experience
American culture through food, and particularly enjoyed the two
demos led by Gary and Hector. Afterwards, many participants could
be seen taking photographs with the chefs and of their plates. NC
State Dining is excited to continue hosting cooking demonstrations
for various groups and hopes to teach every member of the Wolfpack
community how to cook. The university plans on offering frequent
cooking classes for students, faculty, and staff through the NC State
teaching kitchen, anticipated to open next fall.