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May 20, 2022

VITALIA Active Adult Community® – Montrose Culinary Department to Honor Asian American Pacific Islander Month

Category: Senior Living

Author: Christine Archey

May is Asian American Pacific Islander month, or AAPI for short, a time to celebrate the Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States and their contributions to the history of this country. By recognizing the culture, history, and achievements of Asian American and Pacific Islanders, we can broaden the understanding of their countries and cultures, as well as enhance the appreciation for all that they have given to make this country great.

As is the case with many commemorative months, AAPI originated with Congress. In 1978, Congress passed, and President Jimmy Carter signed into law, a joint resolution declaring a week in May as “Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.” This was later expanded to a month, and in 1992, May was designated as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.

At VITALIA Active Adult Community® – Montrose Copley, OH, we will be celebrating by honoring the countries of China, Japan, and Thailand and the territory of Guam.

The dishes I am making are traditional vegetable lo mien, pork pot stickers; Chamorro BBQ ribs, red rice, Chamorro cucumber salad; ramen with house broth, gyoza, yakitori, edamame; papaya salad, chicken satay, and pad Thai.

Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander food has always been about balance. Many of these regions all use very full flavor ingredients as well as adding an “umami” profile too. All Asian and Pacific Islander cuisine has always intrigued me. It is one of those things, for me, that requires a very complex and well stocked pantry and access to ingredients that are hard to find, as well as techniques not normally taught. For each country I chose dishes that mostly are things that many Americans are familiar with but will also give us an opportunity to discuss and learn more about many of the complex ingredients and techniques that go into preparing each one of these dishes

As a culinary director, I feel we should celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month because I believe it is important to celebrate the food of the whole world. Food and culture are both wonderful conversation starters and I truly believe that learning about other’s meals that they grew up eating, and why it is important to them, brings people together. AAPI food is generally something I personally shy away from cooking because of how complex it can be. Our celebration of AAPI month has challenged me to source hard to find ingredients, test my culinary abilities, and learn more about what makes each of these meals culturally important.

When I was an intern in my last semester at UNLV I accepted a corporate internship with Marriott in Marco Island, Florida. I had two Thai roommates during my internship. They brought out my love of Thai food and heightened it even further by making me homemade Thai food daily. It was one of the most memorable things in my life and for that reason it is an exciting month for us at Vitalia Montrose. We get to celebrate those memories, as well as find out more about our residents’ experiences with AAPI food.

We are honored to have the opportunity to celebrate these countries, their contributions, and their foods this month! And we would be even more honored if you would join us. Give us a call to learn more about how you can get a seat at the table this month!

VITALIA® Montrose in Copley, OH offers independent senior apartments, assisted living, and memory care with a variety of services and a range of floor plan options. Amenities include restaurant dining, 24-hour bistro, concierge service, housekeeping, events and entertainment, personal care, transportation services, and more. Centrally located near Cleveland Clinic with convenient access to major shopping centers and attractions, including Mud Run Golf Course and Driving Range, Summit Mall, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Summit County Metro Park, Stan Hywet, and Hale Farm.

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