The Daily Evergreen

Student shares culture through food

Dishes include pernil, stuffed chicken breast, Arroz Mamposteado mofungo bites

Junior+electronics+exchange+student+Erik+Kaufman+talks+about+his+cooking+history%2C+graduating+from+Escuela+Hoelera+de+San+Juan+studying+culinary+in+2015%2C+on+Tuesday+in+the+CUB.
Junior electronics exchange student Erik Kaufman talks about his cooking history, graduating from Escuela Hoelera de San Juan studying culinary in 2015, on Tuesday in the CUB.

Junior electronics exchange student Erik Kaufman talks about his cooking history, graduating from Escuela Hoelera de San Juan studying culinary in 2015, on Tuesday in the CUB.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Junior electronics exchange student Erik Kaufman talks about his cooking history, graduating from Escuela Hoelera de San Juan studying culinary in 2015, on Tuesday in the CUB.

JAYCE CARRAL, Evergreen reporter

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Students with a taste for foreign food can visit Southside Cafe on Thursday to try authentic Puerto Rican food served from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

Erik Kaufman-Ortiz, a WSU exchange student, created the menu and has been working to cook for students attending the event.

Kaufman-Ortiz graduated from a culinary school in Puerto Rico, Escuela Hotelera de San Juan, in 2015. Kaufman-Ortiz is currently employed at Southside Cafe, where he came up with the idea to share food from his home.

While Kaufman-Ortiz was speaking to a coworker about the food and culture of Puerto Rico, he was approached by his section manager about serving authentic Puerto Rican food.

“The next day [the supervisor] called me and asked what was needed to make [the event] happen,” Kaufman-Ortiz said. “I made the menu in less than 10 minutes.”

Kaufman-Ortiz’s menu will consist of two main meat-based dishes: pernil and stuffed chicken breast. The first is a dish popular in Puerto Rico and features an oven-roasted, seasoned pork leg. The second is a chicken breast wrapped in bacon and stuffed with plantains.

“It’s really fun to cook in Puerto Rico,” Kaufman said in reference to the second dish. “I would tear the fat and pork apart and stuff the seasoning in it.”

Southside will also serve Spanish white rice and Arroz Mamposteao. The second rice dish consists of white rice sauteed in cilantro, beans and tomato sauce. There will also be mofongo bites which are cut plantains that are fried twice.

“I want to keep it cafeteria-style,” Kaufman said.

Plantains have heavily influenced Kaufman’s menu, he said. Along with the mofongo bites, he will also be serving tostones and amarillos. Tostones are twice-fried plantain discs, Kaufman said, while amarillos are extremely ripe plantains with lightly charred edges.

Three sauces will be made to accompany the dishes. The first is a tomato-based sauce called criolla. The second is encebollado, which is an onion sauce mixed with various julienned vegetables. The last sauce is mayo-ketchup or fry sauce as it is commonly referred to, Kaufman said.

The event is not sponsored by WSU, Kaufman said. The details are circling campus via word of mouth.

Kaufman is only attending WSU for one semester. He will be moving back to Puerto Rico to complete his degree in electronics at Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico – Recinto de San German.

“If you have an idea, go for it,” Kaufman said. “The worst thing that can happen is being told no.”

About the Writer
JAYCE CARRAL, Evergreen reporter

Jayce is a Freshman double majoring in multimedia journalism and political science. Jayce prefers they/them pronoun, and loves Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.

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Student shares culture through food