For the second year in a row, members of the ISAK Cooking Club and the VIP Club participated in the Karuizawa Community Potluck. The event, which is organized by Karuizawa’s Town Hall, seeks to bring together diverse members of the local community. It is one of the many opportunities for ISAK students to interact with longtime residents as well as newcomers to Karuizawa.
The cooking club prepared Taiwanese pork (a family recipe from Wesley, Grade 11) and the students served it to an appreciative crowd. Other highlights for our students included the chance to pound mochi (a traditional Japanese rice ball served at New Year’s) and photos with Karuizawa’s mayor.
Mom’s Flavor – The Story Behind the Recipe:
by ISAK Cooking Club founding member, Wesley – Grade 11
When I think of Taiwan, I always think about my grandmother or my mother, and coincidentally, there is a unique type of cuisine that exists in Taiwan known as Mom’s flavor. For the Karuizawa Potluck, I sought to create a Taiwanese dish that focused on the theme of Mom’s flavor while trying to create a sense of nostalgia. The dish itself consists of pork belly, mushrooms, and shallots along with special Chinese spices such as Star Anise. The night before, this Taiwanese pork sauce was made and then left to sit in the pot for a whole night allowing the meat to completely soak up the seasonings. On the day of the potluck, the sauce was heated up while being stirred and then served on top of rice.The Karuizawa Potluck brought along with it many small victories for me and my cooking club. If there were judges to rank our dishes, I would confidently say that we had a shot of being the best dish of that day. However, the sweetest victory was when the people who tasted our food said it was delicious. I hope that for the rest of ISAK, we can continue to participate in this event, and for all the cooking club members that will succeed me, I hope that they would also be able to taste this victory.- Wesley, Grade 11