Following Monday's showing of "Bangkok Traffic Love Story," on Tuesday the I-House featured an authentic cooking demonstration by UT doctoral candidate and Thailand native Gai Janekitlearn.
The I-House's "World Showcase" series featured Thai culture this week with daily events including a lecture, film showing, culture night and cooking demonstration.
In front of a crowd of more than 40 individuals, Janekitlearn began his demonstration by encouraging everyone in attendance to get up and gather around his cooking surface. Using authentic instruments, such as a large clay mortar and wooden pestle from Thailand, he demonstrated techniques for making a dipping sauce, Thai-style grilled chicken and a traditional papaya salad called Som Tam Thai.
Janekitlearn selected volunteers from the crowd to taste and comment on the various stages of the dishes as he put them together.
Keenan Ibrahimbacha, junior in biochemistry, was one such volunteer who came out to sample the indigenous dishes.
"I tasted the sauce base before everything was mixed in. It was pretty good, but like I said I love Thai food," said Ibrahimbacha after tasting a bowl of briny sauce base.
Once the three dishes had been demonstrated, the crowd was encouraged to eat larger portions of chicken and sticky rice with dipping sauce that had been prepared in advance.
While some patrons crowded around a circular table with food trays, others lined up to have Janekitlearn prepare a customized bowl of papaya salad for them.
"I would eat mine with four or five chilies," said Janekitlearn, as he prepared milder one and two chili salads for hungry guests.
Once everyone was fed, some guests began leaving slowly while others mingled and discussed the gathering.
Xiaofang Wang, junior in logistics, wants to see more cultural diversity at the events.
"These events aren't just for international students, they are also for American student. We want more Americans to get involved," Wang said.