Club Cooks Up French Love for Valentine’s Day


By Cheyenne Johnson
Staff Writer

Photo by Cheyenne Johnson

Nutella, strawberry jam and bananas found their way into the Student Resource Building for the University of California Santa Barbara Cooking Club’s Valentine Crepes event. The Cooking Club met on Monday to teach each other the finer ways of making crepes and to enjoy the fruits of their labor, along with some dessert and savory fillings.

The Valentine Crepe event came just as couples prepared to drown their significant other in chocolate hearts and roses, and the Cooking Club seemed happy to add their own flare to the holiday.

“The French know how to do romance right,” said the club’s event page, “and seduction takes no better form than the crepe. We’ll be cooking up crepe fillings so you can mix and match to your heart’s content.”

Foodies crowded into the small kitchen of the SRB to prepare crepe batter from scratch and learn how to make the pancake-like wraps before heading into the neighboring room to fill them with Nutella and whipped cream.

Paul Kim, the vice president of the Cooking Club, says that though the event was French themed, the club tries to mix up their menu with easy, international recipes, ensuring that people get the chance to try cuisine from all over the world without feeling overwhelmed.

“We don’t really do difficult kinds of recipes so newcomers [to cooking] are perfectly welcome,” said Kim. “I’m sure they’ll learn a lot…We try to pick things college, especially UCSB students, can make. At the last meeting we made chicken curry, which was really cheap.”

The meetings are lighthearted and relaxed, with club members helping those new to the experience, and the occasional round of karaoke entertaining the room. With a do-it-yourself approach, the club ensures that anyone who comes to a meeting leaves not only with a full stomach, but a new cooking technique they can utilize at home.

“We always try to make sure we have something that’s dinner-y,” said Shelby Spees, Cooking Club member and Bottom Line contributor.

Their meetings usually start around a late 4:30 p.m. with a dedication to satisfy the appetites of their members.

Melanie Guevara, Cooking Club president, hopes to expand the scope of what her club covers, moving to and from baking and cooking.

“I still want to have a dessert night where we just make all kinds, like brownies and cookies,” said Guevara. “I really want to make red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.”

The SRB allows a club to book a room only three times a quarter, severely limiting the club’s ability to hold regular meetings. Though cooking meetings are few and far between, the club officers meet several times a quarter to schedule upcoming events and discuss future menu items.

“Right now we’re talking to the Lebanese Club about doing a joint event with them,” said Guevara.

There are no official plans for the next cooking meeting as of now, but Spees said they’re currently deciding on a theme and will keep the student body posted about the event.

“It’s delicious,” said Spees. “That’s what Cooking Club is.”