Office of the Chancellor

Conversation Kitchen and Cooking with the Professor 2020_2021

Conversation Kitchen and Cooking with the Professor

Conversation Kitchen

In an abundance of caution and to ensure social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Conversation Kitchen and Cooking with the Professor events are continuing through Zoom webinars and YouTube.

Presented in collaboration with the Department of Campus Recreation, Conversation Kitchen is a unique series of culinary workshops designed to explore the significant influence that food has in defining and shaping culture across the world. Each free workshop will focus on an area of the world undergoing conflict and transformation today. What is the role of food in mediating conflict, communicating values, solving problems, reflecting locale, and expressing our common humanity? Chef Jessica VanRoo, Campus Recreation culinary education director, will present a three-course menu with dishes from the region. Hosts representing the countries in question will be present during the workshop to discuss their food traditions and experiences. Participants will gain an understanding of different cultures by sharing a meal among friends.

Conversation Kitchen: Chopped Virtual Cooking Contest

Calling all students, staff, and faculty! Do you like being creative and want to challenge your cooking skills by using 4 mystery ingredients? Join us in this virtual cooking challenge!
Event details:

Registration for Chopped: - Tuesday, November 17, 5 p.m.

  1. Fill out your registration form.
  2. Receive the list of 4 mystery ingredients on Thursday, November 12, 2020 at 8 am, PST.
  3. Take 3 photos.  See special instructions for what 3 photos to take.
  4. Submit photos to by Tuesday, November 17 at 8 am, PST.
  5. Zoom in to hear judges evaluate the dishes on Tuesday, November 17 at 5 pm, PST.
Wednesday, December 2, 6 - 8:30 p.m.
Zoom Webinar
Register Here:

American diners began to flock to Chinese restaurants more than a century ago, making Chinese food the first mass-consumed cuisine in the United States. By 1980, it had become the country's most popular ethnic cuisine. Professor Yong Chen’s book Chop Suey, USA offers the first comprehensive interpretation of the rise of Chinese food, revealing the forces that made it ubiquitous in the American gastronomic landscape and turned the country into an empire of consumption. At this event, Professor Chen and Chef Jessica Van Roo will share recipes and the history behind them.

Co-sponsored by the UCI Libraries, Illuminations, Anteater Recreation Center, UCI Campus Recreation, and the Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion

Beloved Churros and Macaroons with Professor Ana Rosas and Chef Jessica VanRoo
Friday, December 4, Noon - 1 p.m.
Zoom Webinar

Churros and Macaroons: The Digital Preservation and Celebration of Treasured Mexican Foodways

You are invited to join us for this in-depth consideration and cooking demonstration celebrating the digital preservation of precious Mexican foodways.

Chopped Cooking Challenge

Wed. Feb. 17, 5 p.m.

Zoom Webinar

Co-sponsored by Illuminations, Anteater Recreation Center, UCI Campus Recreation, and the Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion

Cooking with the Professor

“Cooking with the Professor” brings together UCI faculty and students for an evening of conversation, cooking, and good food in the ARC Test Kitchen. For each event, Chef Jessica Van Roo develops fun and easy recipes that reflect the research interests, cultural background, or cooking passions of a featured faculty member.

This program was first piloted by Professor Yong Chen (History), author of Chop Suey, USA: The Story of Chinese Food in America. “Cooking with the Professor” is co-sponsored by the Campus Climate Council, Illuminations, and the Anteater Recreation Center.

Welcome to the second season of "Cooking with the professor" at the time of Coronavirus, hosted by Philosophy Professor and Chair Annalisa Coliva. This show is brought to you by the Advisory Council on Campus Climate, Culture and Inclusion, Illuminations and the Humanities Center.

With a variety of dishes from different cultural traditions, we aim to stay connected and bring you some relief during these unprecedented times.

Dishes from Italian, French and Asian cuisine will be presented as well as exciting contests between professors.

Another prominent theme is family: kids appear in several videos. Parents, partners and anyone we are sharing this quarantined time with, are all going to be featured.

Weekly updates highlighting new episodes will be posted. We hope you'll enjoy!

 2020-21 Schedule

Winter 2021 Episodes:

Episode 1: Panettone vs. Pandoro - Professor Annalisa Coliva (UCI) and Marco Panza (Chapman) Cooking Contest - Panettone vs. Pandoro

Episode 2: Tortellini - Professor Annalisa Coliva presents you with a classic dish of Italian cuisine: Tortellini! Served with broth, they are the perfect dish for a winter meal.

Epsidoe 3: Risotto - Professor Marco Panza (Chapman University) invites you to taste a classic of Italian cuisine: risotto!

Episode 4: Simple German Meal - Professor Peter Krapp (Film and Media Studies, UCI) invites you to share two of his favorite German dishes - the onion tart and the kale pork.

Episode 5: Triple Orange Cake -  Professor Lyle Massey invites you to taste this delicious "Triple Orange Cake" - the perfect recipe for the Winter harvest of OC's citrus.

CoSponsor:  Anteater Recreation Center, UCI Campus Recreation


To view previous episodes during the spring and summer, please visit the Illuminations YouTube Page here: