Uri Sella judges a good recipe by three criteria: cost, quality of ingredients, and amount of waste generated. The main mission of his culinary experiments comes down to a fascination with “how different cultures feed their people.”
“There are two things with being an immigrant here — always wanting to recreate the tastes of my home country — for example, an obsession with hummus. And then also being exposed to new cultures.” Uri has gone through significant phases of cooking Indian, Mexican, and Korean food. One day he’s making shakshuka, the next, curry.
Uri learned to cook primarily from family members and reading recipes, and now Adam learns from him. When his son was young, Uri said that Adam “would always come into the kitchen whenever he heard the sound of knives being sharpened.”
But now the two find themselves released from those roles. “I think my dad has delegated some of his exploratory cooking to me,” Adam said. For instance, when Adam returned home, his father handed him a cookbook of homemade pastas he’d borrowed from the library. “It was a subtle nudge for me to make some pasta.”
A glass of kefir a day
Living in Singapore, 12 hours ahead of her East Coast classes, Aline Damas ’20 had to adjust her eating, sleeping, and studying schedule. But there was one routine that remained the same: a glass of kefir in the morning.
Praised for its health benefits, kefir is a fermented dairy product similar to yogurt. On campus, Damas would start her mornings with a glass, a habit she owes to her mother.
“My mom’s a big fermentation person. I’ve become indoctrinated.”
Damas’ mother has been making her own kefir since 2017. Each morning, she adds about a teaspoon of kefir “grains” (really a combination of bacteria and yeast) to a cup of milk. The mixture sits on the kitchen counter at room temperature for about 24 hours. By breakfast time the next day, it’s ready to drink, and she scoops out a small bit of the grains to use for her next batch, repeating the process.