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Iowa State Daily

Iowa State Daily

Culinary Science Club hosts first-ever sushi workshop

Brielle Tuttle
Elias Perez, a member of the Culinary Science Club, and Izabele Jaime, vice president of the Culinary Science Club, portion out rice into bowls in preparation for the Sushi Workshop the club held in the Culinary Discovery Lab on Friday, Nov. 10, 2023.

The room was packed in the Food Sciences Building on Friday night as the Culinary Science Club hosted their sushi workshop. Members of the Ames and Iowa State community watched Jenn Behnke, the club president, as she demonstrated how to make two sushi rolls.

“I think [sushi] is something that’s easy to make at home, but [people] are intimidated by,” Behnke said.

Behnke showed the guests how to make a mixed veggie roll with cucumber, asparagus and carrots and a rainbow roll with avocado, cabbage and other vegetables. She chose to prepare all vegan rolls because they are easy to make and the ingredients are more accessible.

Even though the time that goes into planning the workshops varies depending on the topic, Behnke said it usually takes a few weeks to get everything together.

The workshops are a way for the Culinary Science Club to fund trips to learn about the food industry. The workshops also help pay for snacks at all club meetings.

“It’s a really great way to fundraise,” Behnke said. “[Workshops are] a more fun and specialized way to make money for the club.”

After learning about the history and origins of sushi and watching a brief tutorial, visitors to the workshop were encouraged to begin making their own sushi rolls. They stood at tables lined with sushi-making ingredients as well as some useful tools, including a bamboo mat for wrapping the sushi rolls and a cup of water to dip their fingers in after handling the sticky rice.

Several club members wore red shirts that said “Deliciously Scientific: Culinary Food Science” and walked around assisting visitors and answering questions.

Jill Kestner, one of the student volunteers at the workshop, said that she really likes how involved you can become with the club.

“It’s a great way to meet other [culinary food science students] and get exposed to the food industry,” she said.

Kestner has helped with several other workshops for the club, including a cake decorating event that was held last spring. Kestner was really excited about this workshop since she loves sushi and wants to learn how to make it at home.

“It’s always really fun to connect with the community. It’s super rewarding,” Kestner said.

Kestner joined the club last semester after one of her professors, Erica Beirman, suggested it to her. Beirman is the advisor for the Culinary Science Club and was also present for the workshop, where she spoke to guests and gave them some tips for making sushi at home.

“We do two workshops each semester. We love feedback,” Beirman said.

The club picks workshop topics based on what participants ask for. According to Beirman, a topic that kept coming up was sushi, so the club decided to do it.

The Culinary Science Club will have a charcuterie workshop next semester. They will also host a pairings workshop, where they plan to create mocktails to go with various dishes.

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    Jeanne Rogert | Nov 18, 2023 at 8:23 am

    This was great to read. I think you should consider offering a class to the public— charge us and make some $$. Please be sure to invite me!