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A Euphoric New Year!

5 Jan


We hope you had an amazing holiday season and look forward to a new year filled with joy, good health, and tastes of euphoria!

New York City is absolutely beautiful during the holidays. The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is larger than life and every shop is festively decorated! This was our first holiday together in the city and it was incredible!



Last winter, my friend Katherine and I threw a holiday dessert party for our friends! Not only is Katherine one of my good friends, but she and I share a special bond – an insatiable appetite for all things sweet.

So, in the midst of the Hotel School’s endless final exams, papers, and presentations, we made sure to spread holiday cheer and enjoy a festive night with our friends! Here are some pictures from our party, Frost Yourself:

Frost Yourself

Peppermint Cheesecake Lollipops, White Chocolate

Green Velvet Cupcakes, Cream Cheese Frosting

Green Velvet Cupcakes, Cream Cheese Frosting

Decorative Sugar Cookies


Hotelie Loves (Katherine on the far left!)


Tasting Culture and Cuisine

9 Nov

One of the best things about being a Hotelie is being able to take courses like Seminar in Culture and Cuisine. This seminar, which is offered only in the Spring for 20 students, explores various cuisines in terms of history, lifestyle, and foods unique and special to a culture.

My classmates and I explored several international cuisines and learned how to make comparisons and draw relationships among foodways of different cultures through readings, research, and cooking in the culinary labs at Statler Hall. On Tuesdays, we discussed readings about a specific culture, and on Thursdays, we cooked and enjoyed the cuisine of that culture. Every Thursday was an absolute feast! We prepared at least ten dishes every week and spent the remaining time eating, experiencing new cultures, and talking about our love for food. What other college course let’s you cook and feast every week?! Amazing!

Throughout the semester, we each chose a country and did an extensive research project on its culture and cuisine. We wrote research reports, made oral presentations to the class, and designed and orchestrated the preparation of menus for our Thursday cooking lab. I chose South Korea for my research project and was amazed to learn so much about its history and the impact it has had on Korean food. Here are some pictures from my lab!

Making pa jon (scallion pancakes)

Making ho bak jun (fried squash)

Team South Korea!

Amazing Korean food - SUCCESS

Time to eat!

Within five months, our class had traveled nearly half the globe. We experienced the cultures and tasted the cuisines of more than 20 countries, ranging from Hawaii to Egypt to Greece to India. Here are some pictures from the semester!

On our last class, we had an Iron Chef competition: boys versus girls. Each team picked ingredients out of a hat and had one hour to plan, execute, and present eight award winning dishes! Professor Spies and the chefs at Statler judged each team’s dishes based on presentation, taste, and cooking methods used…and the guys won!

Girls' dishes

Our entire spread!

Time to feast

We also learned how to de-bone a chicken, which is a lot harder than you would expect. Professor Spies used one of the chickens to cook us a turducken (a chicken stuffed inside of a duck stuffed inside of a turkey and roasted). It was my first turducken…and it was amazing! Meaty, juicy, yummy delight!


Seminar in Culture and Cuisine was one of the most interesting, informational, challenging, interactive, and fun classes I have taken here at the Hotel School. I took this course because of my love of food and culture, and I hope that this has inspired you to try a new dish, learn about a new culture, and taste euphoria.

Ithaca Apple Fest!

6 Oct

Fall is here! And what better way to celebrate than at the 28th Annual Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival! The three-day festival, from October 1-3, attracted more than 30,000 people! The festival featured farmers, wineries, bakeries, local food vendors, crafters, rides, and over 150 performers.

My friends and I planned on staying at the festival for an hour or two and then heading back to the library (it’s prelim season). However, after we stuffed ourselves with fresh cider, cider donuts, candied apples, caramel apples, pumpkin funnel cake, apple strudel, Purity’s pumpkin praline ice cream, local wine tastings, and plates of Laotian food, we checked the time and nearly four hours had flown by! The Apple Festival was so much fun, and we all had a great time! Here are some of our pictures. Enjoy!

Local apples and squash

Frannie loving the apples!

Waiting in line for the first apple treat of the day...

Apple cider and cider donuts

Candied apples

So many flavors!

Poisonous mushrooms?

Freshly baked goodies

Concord grapes

Purity's pumpkin praline ice cream! Heavenly!

Carnival games

Apple strudel with vanilla sauce

Becky's gyro

Spicy chicken curry

More Laotian curry and summer roll with peanut sauce

Lunch time!

Oooey gooey caramel apples

Caitlin and her caramel apple!

And the finale...pumpkin funnel cake

Covered with a mountain of powdered sugar

So excited for our dessert!

Sadly it was our last Apple Festival together, but I will definitely be back for Ithaca’s annual chili festival and cook off! Stay tuned for February 2011…we will be making an appearance with our very own chili!

La $5 Festa

17 Sep

LeeJee Choi and Frances Kim

Two girls at Cornell with an insatiable appetite and a fiery passion for planning dinner parties. After much talking, planning, scheduling, and rescheduling…we finally planned the long awaited $5 Italian dinner party for our friends!

What is a $5 festa? We made a proposition to our friends. “If everyone pitches in $5, we will put together a fabulous dinner event or your money back guaranteed.” And you guessed it. It was an absolute success! What did it take? Two girls obsessed with food, some creative planning, and serious shopping.

Our menu included spaghetti with herbs and fresh grated Parmesan, warm, crusty, buttery garlic bread, ooey gooey cheesy pepperoni pizza, and a rich, decadent, dark chocolate fondue with fresh strawberries, ripe bananas, marshmallows, and cookies for dunking. Here are some pictures from the event for you to enjoy!

Our friends arrive…

Fondue finale!

La festa bravissima!

A special thank you to Wendy Cai for her beautiful photography! Our next dinner party: Holiday potluck & cocktail extravaganza. Stay tuned!

Our Tasting Menu

30 Aug

For our Restaurant Management course at the Hotel School, we worked with three of our classmates on a menu development project. Our mission was to create, test, and perfect a tasting menu for Taverna Banfi, the restaurant at Statler Hotel. Our first thought was, “Wow, this is going to be great! We’ll find recipes for our favorite dishes, cook them, and eat them. How perfect!”

Well, it turned out that our project was a bit more challenging than that. Finding the right dishes and executing them were much harder than we had expected (none of us were that skilled in the kitchen). And on top of that, we also worked closely with the wine pairing team so that their wine selections were compatible with our dishes. Nevertheless, we worked hard during the semester and went through series of tastings to end up with the tasting menu that is currently offered at Banfi!

Even though some nights we slaved away in the kitchen for hours to end up with dry lamb chops and overcooked brownie puddings, we had a lot of fun! Here are some pictures from our project, enjoy!

First Tasting

Flatbread Salad, Caramelized Pears, Parmesan

Rack of Lamb with Rosemary Butter

Baked Cocoa Pudding, Warm Raspberry Coulis, Vanilla Ice Cream

Second Tasting

Potato Crisp with Sautéed Spinach

Dax hard at work!

Flatbread Salad, Caramelized Apples and Pecans, Parmesan

Justin, our team member

Rack of Lamb

Rack of Lamb, Rosemary Butter, Herbs

Greg, our team member

Panel Tasting

Table Setup

Potato Crisp, Sautéed Spinach and Onion

Caramelized Pear and Prosciutto Flatbread

Rack of Lamb, Sautéed Asparagus, Rosemary Butter, Herbs

Baked Cocoa Pudding, Warm Raspberry Coulis, Vanilla Ice Cream

A Taste of Our Tasting Menu!

First Course: Duck Breast, Cherry Confit

Second Course: Braised Beef, Polenta, Cabbage

Third Course: Baked Cocoa Pudding, Warm Raspberry Coulis, Vanilla Ice Cream

È squisito!