Saint Louis University

BLOG: Connecting Through Cooking Demos

A while back, another intern and I did a cooking demo as part of SLU's internship. We chose the first date thinking it was just another assignment we needed to get out the way. For the first event, SLU interns were asked to do a cooking demo for people with diabetes at Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist church. When Gabby and I signed up, we didn't know what to expect. The only other cooking demo we did was for our class senior year. In a classroom setting, everyone is learning at the same time and are on pretty much the same level when practicing it ourselves. There isn't much judgment when learning as a group. For this upcoming demo, we went through the process of writing our script, creating recipes, fliers and handouts to get approved. I felt prepared when our items were approved to use. We had also been working with diabetic patients for a while so I felt comfortable giving advice. It wasn't until the day of the demo that I got nervous. I didn't have my entire part of the script memorized, I didn't know who all would show up and how involved they'd be. We knew there were going to be medical students there as well which was fairly intimidating because we didn't know how well versed they were in diabetes. Of course I knew what I was talking about but I wasn't sure if and where there would be disconnects in knowledge if medical students asked us questions as well. Overall, I just hoped it was info that made sense that they could use.

I was making BBQ pulled pork lettuce wraps. Originally, it was sandwiches but bread can have a lot of sodium so lettuce was definitely the better option. My partner, Gaby, made a quinoa salad with cucumber, bell pepper, feta cheese and a Dijon vinaigrette. I was hesitant at first about the quinoa salad because I've never been a big fan of it. The recipe she chose, I thought, ended up tasting good but I wasn't sure how well it would go over. I feel like that's something you always think about no matter who you're cooking for. You go through all this effort of finding a good recipe and making it, you want your efforts to be worthwhile and appreciated. Since it was a Baptist church, we were fairly certain to expect an African-American population. This ended up being one of the deciding factors for the recipe I chose. BBQ is a large part of black culture. Within my own family, whenever there's a get together, it's expected that someone barbecues something. I thought if I could come up with a recipe that was a good substitute for pulled pork sandwiches which also tasted good, I would have achieved a personal goal to provide healthier but still yummy food.

A typical Pulled Pork Sandwich

Our Healthier Pulled Pork Sandwich

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