Food Club Looks to Inspire Cultural Exchange Between Jiangsu and Arcadia Students

By Caitlin Burns | November 24, 2020

During the Oct. 27 Student Government Organization (SGO) meeting, the executive committee approved the newest student group: the Chinese Food Club.

The Chinese Food Club President Xinran “Victoria” Wang ’21 said many of the club’s members previously attended an event that focused on Asian food, and her love of cooking made her realize that a food club was something that could create conversation among students and showcase Chinese culture.

“I put forward the idea,” said Wang, who joined the Arcadia community last year as an Actuarial Science major after transferring from Jiangsu. “I wanted to set up an organization exclusively for Chinese food.”

The executive board includes Jiangsu students Actuarial Science major Xincheng Zhu ’21, Actuarial Science major Yannan Niu ’22, Mathematics major Yifei Song ’21, and Actuarial Science major Shengxi Zhang ’21, and Arcadia students Mathematics major Litzy Sarabia Oleta ’22, English and Creative Writing major Jaqueline Ramirez ’22, and Acting major Harper Jones ’23. Dr. Weihong Ni, assistant professor of Computer Science and Mathematics, will serve as faculty advisor to the new club.

Ramirez said that the club plans to send a survey to members before each cooking session with a selection of menu options. The menu item that receives the most votes will be the food cooked during the meeting. Zhu noted that these foods could be different types of dumplings, regional noodle dishes, or other meals the board thinks could be of interest to members.

“The Chinese food in America, like Panda Express, is really different from what we have in China,” said Wang. “We want to show people what real Chinese food is—even though the name is the same, like kung pao chicken, it’s very different.”

Jones, Sarabia Oleta, and Ramirez said that their experiences with authentic Chinese food and the culture started with the Preview course to China. While on Preview, they met with Jiangsu students and learned about Chinese culture and experienced authentic food. Jones noted that her favorite Chinese food is orange chicken, and she hopes to find an authentic recipe that might be similar.

At present, the Chinese Food Club plans to meet virtually with online video tutorials that share the recipes with members. For more information about the Club, go to KnightLife.