The Melting Pot

Sunday January 25 12noon, $20 in advance/$25 at the door, see below.

Art is all a matter of taste
By Hannah Young, Sun Correspondent
Updated: 01/22/2009 06:36:15 AM EST

LOWELL — In a world where frozen dinners are king and ready-made “gourmet” dominates the refrigerated section, a home-cooked meal could easily be deemed refreshing. And what could be more refreshing than all-American, old-fashioned comfort food?

Quite a few things.

The 119 Gallery on Chelmsford St. in Lowell looks to deliver an escape from everyday eats. On Sunday, Jan. 25, at noon, it will introduce culinary classes that celebrate cultural diversity through food.

Chef Y Sok Woodward of Rebel Chef Catering will guide participants through a hands-on cooking demonstration, which will be followed by a buffet-style luncheon.

A Lowell resident, Woodward, 32, has come up with an intriguing menu to kick off the gallery’s newest artistic venture, aptly dubbed “The Melting Pot.”

The first meal in the gallery’s monthly series, inspired by southeast Asian and Cambodian food, will include delicacies such as vegetable spring rolls served with spicy peanut sauce, sweet and sour soup with winter melon, lotus root and Thai basil, and coconut pork with all the fixings.

For each additional class, Woodward will focus on a different culture and its food. Latin and Carribean-inspired dishes will grace next month’s menu.

Woodward says, “There are a lot of ethnic grocery stores and many unique ingredients that are easily accessible to people in Lowell, but a lot of people get intimidated.”

The chef’s class looks to change all that.

Woodward hopes to help people become more familiar and comfortable with unusual foods. The Melting Pot’s mission will also be to convey the history behind its cuisine, where to find the extraordinary ingredients, and what techniques are needed to prepare such delights in the comfort of your own home.

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. All proceeds will go directly to the art gallery. RSVP at (978) 452-8138 or e-mail

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One Response to The Melting Pot

  1. 119 Gallery says:

    Cambodian Food

    Crispy Vegetable Spring Roll with Sweet Chili Sauce

    1/2 green cabbage shredded
    2 large shredded carrots
    1 finely chopped onion
    1 bundle of cellophane noodles
    1 teaspoon of black pepper
    3 teaspoons of salt
    1 teaspoon of sugar
    1 egg
    2 packages of spring roll wrapper
    1 bottle of sweet chili sauce
    oil for frying

    – Soak the cellophane noodles in a large bowl with warm water for about 15-20min (not too soft) cut into it about 5 times
    – Mic cellophane noodles with shredded carrots, cabbage and onions.
    – Add salt pepper and sugar.
    – Beat egg in a small bowl, this is use to seal the wrapper.
    – Peel back one spring roll wrapper at a time and fill with cabbage filling.
    – Roll according to package instruction and seal tip with egg wash.
    – Heat oil in a large frying pan, hot but not smoking.
    – Fry spring rolls in oil until golden brown and drain on paper towel.
    – Serve with chili sauce.