Graphic of three people holding different baked goods

An international celebration: Honoring spring with special cuisine

Bonjour! Hello! Welcome to round three of our cooking demonstrations. I started this project last Fall as a way to bring together the USC family during this difficult time. Not only has the pandemic changed all of our lives, but the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others before and since have impacted the world. The more recent hate crimes against the Asian American community have also brought to the surface sadness and anger for much of the student population. Through my association with Annenberg Cross-Cultural Students Association, I have invited faculty, staff and students from across the university to share their special recipes as a way to help students of all ethnicities better understand and embrace each other’s differences.

Through the power of food, this project showcases the diversity of the USC community while creating a space for us to celebrate, appreciate, reunify, and respect our differences so we can stand together as one Trojan Family.

Since travel is now restricted, watching these cooking demonstrations will permit us to escape from our day-to-day activities and transport you to different countries from the comfort of your own home. I am thrilled for all of you to watch these scrumptious recipes from Armenia, Tunisia and China to Germany, Israel, Korea, the United States and more.  You’ll meet a parent in one of the demonstrations; in another, you’ll experience a special recipe from Mickey Mouse. We hope you enjoy!

USC Annenberg students interested in joining ACCSA can do so here.

Adam Karelin’s Blini

Adam Karelin is an undergraduate Russian-Israeli composer and conductor studying at USC in the USC Thornton School of Music. This recipe is meaningful to him because his grandmother makes this dish on special occasions, especially New Year’s. He tells us that blini are totally versatile: “You can fill them with absolutely anything and everything. Caviar, chicken, sour cream, Nutella … maybe not all at the same time, though.” This recipe uses one of his favorite classics, cottage cheese and jam.

Download Adam’s recipe here.

Colin Maclay’s Pizza Dough

Colin Maclay, a research professor at USC Annenberg and the director of the Annenberg Innovation Lab, shares a conversation he had with his grandmother, a Hungarian immigrant who’d come to the U.S. as a girl. She was telling him about her first experience with pizza as a teenager on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. “It was just the best thing ever,” she told him. This memory stayed with him, and as an adult, he began making pizza at home. “The fact that our kids prefer homemade pizza to our solid local joint feels like a rare and tasty parental victory,” he said. “Filming this video with my son August was a hoot, I’m just hoping he’s game to repeat.”

Download Colin’s recipe here.

Fatou Kiné Thioune’s Senegalese Tiou Curry

Fatou Thioune, who is working toward her doctorate in economics at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, loves almost any food from her home country Senegal, but her favorite meal is the “Tiou Curry.” She describes it as “basically white rice topped with some chicken curry and onion sauce with vegetables.” Thioune admits it is best when prepared by her mom, although she makes it herself occasionally.

Download Fatou’s recipe here.

Hiba Kahouli’s Raspberry Bakewell Cake

The British Bakewell tart is one of the favorite desserts of Hiba Kahouli, a graduate student in aerospace engineering at USC Viterbi School of Engineering. It reminds her of the time spent studying abroad in London where she would stop for a coffee and a fresh-baked Bakewell slice on her way to class. “Although I often muster the courage to make short-crust dough which is the basis of this dessert, I usually just want to satisfy a craving without having to make the dough, wait for it to cool,” she said. “So, I just make a quick and easy Bakewell cake. I really hope you try this very easy recipe adapted from BBC Good Food.”

Download Hiba’s recipe here.

Jaeha Joshua Chang’s Doenjang Jiggae

Jaeha Joshua Chang is a graduating senior at USC Annenberg. He was born in Jinju, South Korea, and grew up eating traditional Korean home-cooked meals. His recipe for doenjang jiggae, or Korean bean paste stew, is one that he treasures as an antidote to homesickness.

Download Jaeha’s recipe here

Jillian Russell’s Mickey Mouse-Shaped Beignets

Jillian Russell is an undergraduate journalism student at USC Annenberg, with a screenwriting minor from USC School for Cinematic Arts. She grew up in Orange County, California, just a short drive away from the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. She and her family have countless memories at the theme park, and this past year — missing the fun, the magic, and the food ­from the park — they took advantage of a recipe released on the Disney Parks blog for its fan-favorite Mickey Mouse-Shaped Beignets and shared how they made it.

Download Jillian’s recipe here.

Juliet Aprahamian’s Armenian Lentil Soup

Juliet Aprahamian is a sophomore studying business administration at USC Marshall School of Business. Born in Los Angeles, Aprahamian attended an Armenian school from the ages of 3-16, where she learned to speak, read and write Armenian. When she's not studying, Juliet loves to sing, act, write, paint, read poetry and spend time outdoors. She plans to pursue a career in the business of fashion design. Before graduating in Spring 2023, she hopes to publish some of her work and gain cultural insight from her peers while also sharing the riches of her own.

Download Juliet’s recipe here.

Karen Wang’s Tangyuan (汤圆)

“Tangyuan (汤圆), or glutinous rice ball, is a traditional Chinese dessert served during the Lantern Festival,” said Karen Wang, a journalism student at USC Annenberg. The name of the dish is a homophone for union in Chinese and is typically eaten with family. Besides the cultural significance, Tangyuan has a gummy, chewy texture and is served with either sweet or savory fillings.

Download Karen’s recipe here.

Kathrin Altman’s German Style Pretzels

Since moving here from Germany in August 2019, Kathrin Altman, who is earning a master’s degree in communication management from USC Annenberg, hasn’t missed much of the cuisine from her home country because Los Angeles offers so many great foods from different cultures. One thing she does admit to missing is the bread. Along with her “love” (who is a USC alumnus), they share their recipe for pretzels (“Brezeln”) because “it’s a traditional German baked good that most Americans know but we (or rather John) made it the proper German way.”

Download Kathrin’s recipe here.

Luke Harris and Pearlie Harris’ New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice

Luke Harris is an undergraduate studying cinema and media studies at USC School of Cinematic Arts. He is also the president of the African American Cinema Society at USC. He enjoys spending time with his family and cooking soul food with his mom when he is in New Orleans. They share this red beans and rice recipe together.

Download Luke’s recipe here.

Dr. Ron McCurdy’s Jazzy Cheese Omelet

Dr. Ronald C. McCurdy is a professor of music at the USC Thornton School of Music where he served as chairman of the Jazz Department from 2002–2008. He has served as a consultant to the Grammy Foundation and the Walt Disney All-American College Band. When is not making music or teaching his students, he enjoys making his delicious McCurdy’s Jazzy Cheese Omelet.

Download Dr. McCurdy’s recipe here.

Stacy Ingber’s Matzo Brei

Stacy Ingber, assistant director for programming and events at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at USC Annenberg made a dish of a family favorite, matzo brei. The dish is mainly served during the Jewish holiday of Passover in the Spring. During Passover, Jewish people around the world do not eat leavened food such as bread, pastry or cake. In the Old Testament, Passover marks the Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egyptian slavery, when God “passed over” the houses of the Israelites during the last of the ten plagues. “For our family, we love the dish so much, we eat it all year round,” she said.

Download Stacy’s recipe here.