For general descriptions of our future events please check the YaleCooks "Partnerships & Projects" page.

These events will support and promote the YaleCooks "Mission & Vision" and the goals and strategic plan of the Association of Yale Alumni (AYA).

First YaleCooks Organizing-Planning Event in NYC (New York, NY; Saturday, 2013-02-02)

"YaleCooks in NYC" meets for a fun lunch at Yee Li.

Peking Duck: Drumsticks (leftovers from the first course).

Peking Duck: Boneless meat & vegetables (the 2nd course).

Fried chow mein noodles with seafood.

Singpore (curry) noodles.

Chinese eggplant over rice.

Stir fried gai lon (Chinese broccoli).

Squid with pickled vegetables (Chinese mustard greens).

Fresh Tofu over Rice

Table 1: unknown #1 (can someone please name this dish?)

Table 1: unknown #2 (can someone please name this dish?)

Table 1: unknown #3 (can someone please name this dish?)


If you enjoy reading what we do at "YaleCooks in NYC" events please complete the YaleCooks online food-cooking survey.  Your answers will help us plan future events.  Thanks!

This summary is based on notes taken by the event organizer, Stephen C, questions answered via email, and feedback shared via Google Docs.

1) Thanks to everyone for sharing your interest in food-cooking.  The good news is that we are already trying to coordinate the next "YaleCooks in NYC" event.  Check the YaleCooks homepage, our "Events" page, or your email spam folder for future announcements.

2) We are sorry we did not take more photos (the first Peking duck photo looks sadly empty).  We were busy listening to each other and we forgot to take photos when the ducks were first brought out.  Thanks to YAANY board member Bill K for reminding us that photos are important for building enthusiasm and membership.

At future events maybe we should ask for a volunteer to take photos?  The YaleCooks website is currently using photos which begin with a 4:3 ratio (eg. 1600X1200 pixel originals are reduce to 350X263 pixels).  Is this the dimension of iPhone photos?  If your camera takes photos with a different ratio please frame appropriately knowing your photos may need to be cropped.

Unfortunately, we did not take photos of two suprisingly popular dishes, "sliced boneless fish with pickled vegetables" ordered by Stephen C (simliar to the "squid and pickled vegetables" ordered by Edgar D; see photo above) and the "frog legs over rice" ordered by Amy J.  Qi Z ordered a bowl of soup which we sadly did not photograph.

The food was shared "family style".

3) Let's start with a fun trivia question.  Question: How many cookbooks does the Yale University Library own?  Answer: Over 300 (as of 2012-12).

4) Who we are:

We ranged from class of 1966 to 2010 (?).  We represent Yale College (and Brown U), Yale SOM, Yale Med, and Yale FE&S.  We have traveled to (and eaten in) South America, Europe, and Asia.

Our culinary interests-experience ranged from Asian to Spanish to Vegan ("A to V" is close enough "A to Z").  From quick meals "thirty minute meals" needed by recent graduates and sleep deprived residents (go Yale Med alumni) to retired alums with newly renovated kitchens (Class of 66, boola boola).  From recently married (congratulations) to now having time to explore foods which young children may not want to eat (in contrast to recipes designed for children which they may enjoy preparing and eating).  From "Nobu-style" blackened cod with miso (Janet N), baking enthusiast (Pam L), souffle workshop participant (Quynh D), to "molecular gastronomy" (Yvette S, do you use a propane or butane torch to brown your "sous vide").  From internet entrepreneurs (Lisa G, keep us posted on the launch and let us know if you want suggestions) to food writers (Lauren C?) to cooking professionals (Jonathan E, as a cooking professional, do you have any opinion about "sous vide" and other aspects of "molecular gastronomy"?) described on the YaleCooks "Yale Community Recipes" page.

Amy J said she is interested in trying the Sri Lankan restaurant "Lakruwana" (668 Bay-Broad Street, Stapleton, SI; 347-857-6619) described in this week's NY Times (Wednesday, 2013-01-30).  The group's first road trip?  Let's meet at the SI Ferry Terminal!

Yoojin C and Pam L shared their desire to master paella.  Pam tried following a recipe which said a regular pot would work, but the results were disappointing (soggy).  Yes, we can do better!  Pam also wants to learn how to use phyllo dough in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines.

5) A few quick words about the "ISPY Foodies@Yale" group in New Haven and how NYC-New Haven members can support each other:

Is anyone interested in learning Bengali or Indian recipes and cooking techniques?  Anjana (the"group coordinator" of the New Haven ISPY Foodies@Yale group) is a wizard in the kitchen.  She is also vegetarian.  Many Indian recipes are gluten-free.  Anjana never made a yeast bread before the December 2012 bread workshop, but now she bakes all the bread her family eats!  In New Haven, Ouardane, our resident French cook (who spends his days moonlighting as a Yale post-doc) has a lot of experience preparing traditional French food, but also the newer espumas (food foams).

Yoojin, do you have much experience with fermentation (which has a growing following at Yale)?  Michael from New Haven is constantly fermenting kimchi at home.  He is also knows a lot about Korean (eg. japchae), Japanese (eg. okonomiyaki, Osaka or kansai-style), and Thai (eg. pad ga prao) food.

Check out the recipes contributed by Anjana, Michael, and Ouardane on the YaleCooks website (listed at the bottom of the YaleCooks homepage).  It should be easy to convince Anjana, Ouardane, and Michael to take a road trip to teach a hands-on workshop in NYC.

6) Who we are not (yet):

There were no alums from the Yale "Graduate School of Arts & Sciences" at the February 2 organising-planning event in NYC.  Only five (out of 75) surveys were completed by GSA&S alums.  If you know any Yale G+P graduates who are interested in food please tell them about YaleCooks and invite them to join our activities.

Now that you know a little more about "YaleCooks in NY" please ask your friends (yes, even your friends with a Harvard connection, can through you, become members of YaleCooks) to complete the survey.  Yes, the survey is long.  Several questions were created when alums responded using "other" to the first versions of the survey.

This was not the original intent, but any alum who completes the long YaleCooks survey is really interested in food-cooking and really wants to get involved.

7) A simple (non-food) goal of YaleCooks is to reconnect members of the "Yale community" who know each other and to help facilitate new friendships.  On February 2, we succeeded.

In his introduction Jeffrey C described how he first met Stephen C during the 2012 Yale Day of Service (see below for YDOS 2013 information).  Two alums had not seen each in many years.  Two other alums were good friends with the same person (who was not at the meal).  If two Yalies, who are interested in food-cooking are linked by just "one degree of separation" then I hope that person is also interested in food.  Quynh D, please invite your mutual friend to the next YaleCooks event!

With your help we can make YaleCooks a recognizable brand in New Haven and around the world!

8) Once again a special thanks to the Yale Alumni Association of New York (YAANY) for including the announcement for the YaleCooks Saturday February 2, 2013 event in their mid January alumni email newsletter.  Thanks to Chad and Billy (the two YAANY board members who sat at the middle table; Billy gave out his email contact info at the end) for joining us and sharing their advice and ideas.  I think the events we have in NYC between now and October (which according to the YAANY event calendar may be a good month to plan a large food-cooking event in NYC) will help make an October "potluck" event more successful.  If "YaleCooks in NYC" can build an active membership we will have a strong case for becoming an official AYA SIG.

9) The main "organizational" goal of yesterday's meeting was to maintain your enthusiasm so a second event is guaranteed.  I think we succeeded.  Many thanks to Yvette, Karina, Allen for volunteering again to host a "YaleCooks in NYC" event (they first indicated this wish in their survey answers, and we are really thankful for their generosity).  I plan to follow up with them later today to see how the group can use our collective food-cooking experience to support their interest in food-cooking.

UPDATE: The first regular "YaleCooks in NYC" event will be a Thai cuisine potluck dinner hosted by Yvette and Eric (2013-02-23).  The meal will start with a "How to Make Pad Thai" workshop (whose recipe the guests helped develop by contributing favorite recipes).

10) The NYC group needs a name.  Any suggestions.  For now, let's use "YaleCooks in NYC."  A Yale College student (from NYC) suggested YaleEats (because it rhymes with Yalies).

11) Are there any questions or expectations which you had at noon, which were still unanswered or left unfulfilled when we left at 4?  If yes, please share them.

For example, as a group we did not talk very much about what the New Haven group has done.  If you are interested please read about recent events in New Haven organized by the Foodies@Yale group (eg. on January 31, 2013 we learned how to make authentic crepes, both savory and sweet).

12) The Yale Day of Service is May 11 (just three months away), but YAANY and the AYA need to know very soon if YaleCooks in NYC wants to plan an event.

One idea is to go to a nonprofit which helps children and teach them how to cook something which they can cook at home.  In May 2012 several alumni visited "Friends of the Children" a nonprofit located in Harlem (which has a board member who is a Yale alum) and we taught the children how to fold the dumplings served in wonton soup.  We folded 200 dumplings, made some for lunch, and froze the rest (which were cooked for the children during the week).

Does anyone have any ideas for a site location or a group project?

13) We did a really good job ordering and eating at the Yee Li restaurant.  [ switching to the first person ]  I (Stephen C) ordered the "Fish with pickled vegetables".  It was so popular at the middle table that I did not get any to eat.  That makes me really happy (and reminds me that the New Haven group knows a lot about fermentation; time for a road trip)!  Thanks to Amy J (Amy H was the second Amy at the middle table) for ordering the frog legs (which had some great vegetables, possibly "Chinese bitter melon") and Amy H for ordering something not on the menu "Chinese eggplant over rice".  That's what I call "thinking outside the (white Chinese takeout) box."

As we were leaving someone was wondering "Does Yee Li deliver to the Village?"

I think someone at the middle table suggested creating a simple list of "suggested" restaurants (perhaps with positive and negative points).

For example, although the quality of the food was exactly what I had hope (and why I made the reservations there) I thought the service could have been better (eg. I think they could have given us "house" soup, they did not give the middle table water, they could have waited until after we finished the Peking duck before bringing us our entrees, etc.)

14) What we did not discuss at the restaurant is "governance".  Should we wait on the "leadership" question until after we have a few more fun events or until there is a serious discussion about making YaleCooks a Yale Shared Interest-Identity Group (please ask the group, or send Stephen a private email, if you are unfamiliar with the SIG concept)?

If there is one person who attended the February 2 event who really wants to be in charge of coordinating email contact for the NYC group please let me know.  This person preferably has an activated AYA email account.  Why?  See next section.

15) Billy K (from YAANY) agreed that managing alumni emails are a little tricky.  The emails organizing the Saturday event were all sent out BCC:, because it is important to respect your privacy by protecting your email addresses.

We are happy to (re)connect you with other people who attended the February 2 event.

If you want your email address forwarded to a specific person (AND you activated your free "forwarding email account") please contact Stephen C, the organizer for the February 2, 2013 event.

16) To close, here are the thoughts from one of the tables (for possible future events).  Pam, thanks for being the "scribe":

a) hands-on cooking workshops (eg. theme: shellfish)

b) behind the scenes (possible themes: coffee origins-processing; Smorgas Chef scandinavian restaurant)

c) potluck dinner (Yvette S wants to learn to prepare the Thai noodle dish, pad thai)

d) shopping for ingredients: different varieties-cuts, the freshest, the best prices (fruit, produce, vegetables, meat, & seafood)

e) where to shop: food by neighborhood tour, groceries, specialty stores

f) food and wine pairings

g) baking yeast breads and desserts (brownies, cakes, chocolate, cookies, custards-mousse-puddings, deep fried dough, pies-turnovers-pastries)

Stay warm in your kitchens.  We hope to see you at the next YaleCooks event.

Other Recent YaleCooks Events (New York, NY; 2013 Q1)

Day Date Notes (eg. Special Meal Themes) Recipe Demonstrated Link
Sat February 2, 2013 first organizing meeting (New York City) [ we ate at "Yee Li" in NYC ]


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