UW-L’s international banquet goes virtual with home meal kits

International Banquet Digital Sign

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Office of International Education & Engagement has partnered with a local chef to host a virtual cooking demonstration to keep a 56-year tradition going despite COVID-19 restrictions.

The office typically holds an in-person International Banquet; however, it cannot be held in person this year. UW-L staff have partnered with Adrian Lipscombe, the chef and owner of Uptowne Cafe and Bakery on the North Side, to host a virtual event called “Kitchen Quarantine: Global Meets Local.”

Lipscombe and UW-L Provost Betsy Morgan will host the event at 6 p.m. April 22. People will be able to purchase take-home meal kits, which they will then use to follow along with a recipe demonstrated by Lipscombe and Morgan.

“This is a great way for us to embrace how much more alike we are than different,” says Karolyn Bald, interim director of IEE. “Especially in a time like this, when cooking at home is huge, we need to embrace what we have in our community and in our homes. We have a lot of great international flavors right here in La Crosse.”

The menu includes spring salad with cilantro lime dressing, authentic green chile chicken (for meat eaters) or cheese enchiladas (for vegetarians), refried beans and cilantro-carrot rice, and buñuelos — a fried donut also known as a Mexican fritter.

La Crosse area residents can pick up their meal kits at Uptowne Café, 1217 Caledonia St.

IEE is also partnering with the Madison-based restaurant Pasture and Plenty, 2433 University Ave., which will have meal kits for Madison area residents.

Two-person meal kits are $50; digital recipes for participants buying their own ingredients are $25.