Chef Neath Pal’s sophomore-level International Cuisine class is a whirlwind tour of 16 different cultures in 9 days. Chef Pal admits that it’s a lot of ground to cover made somewhat easier by the fact that the regions are grouped by commonalities of flavor patterns, ingredients and techniques used.
“Since we go through so many different cuisines, the first thing we do is recognize the unique ingredients from the region,” says Chef Pal. “From there we discuss techniques — this class is all about exposure.”
Chef Pal’s own culinary background is diverse. Born in Cambodia and trained in French techniques, he is comfortable with fusing flavors and techniques to create a new whole — and he encourages students to do the same.
“Foods of Asia is a senior-level class where students delve more deeply into specific cuisines and create their own menus.”
“I encourage them to learn from the internet,” notes Chef Pal. “And even though Providence is such a small city, we have an incredibly rich and varied food scene. You can eat Vietnamese food, Ethiopian, Dominican — everything!”
These photos were taken on a day when students were working on stir fry techniques, as well as egg rolls and char siu ribs.
all photos by Mike Cohea