photos by Deanna Wong and Hanna Min

A bright semester awaits Epicurean Society especially with a strong 159 recruited members: This was a number that has developed from July to September. Our recruitment stage began a week before school during the New Hospitality Students welcome event. Epicurean Society welcomed transfer and freshman students with pizza wontons. 

A fusion between Chinese and Italian tradition, pizza wontons are wontons wrappers filled with freshly made marinara sauce. The ingredient list consists of 3 pounds of Spanish chorizo, 5.5 pounds of cream cheese, 4 eggs, 5.25 pounds of whole canned tomatoes, ¾ cups of extra virgin olive oil, 1.5 cups of garlic cloves and 3 bunches of fresh basil. The wonton wrappers were an exceptional choice of concealing the savory sauce within. One bite of pizza wontons would send you down a nostalgic trip. We watched as families helped themselves to about 150 wontons and our organization grew with 62 new members that day. 

Our organization’s growth only sped up within the first couple weeks. Fall semester at UNLV started off with a bang: Of course, Involvement Fair played an essential part in igniting the enthusiastic and spirited beginnings. Over 350 registered student organizations participated in Involvement Fair on September 5th. Epicurean Society contributed with jaw-dropping appetizer plates.

The first appetizer was an authentic take on Brazilian cheese bread. In order to start the bread, we boiled a mixture of milk, water, oil, and salt–on medium-high heat. Tapioca flour was put in a stand mixer with the boiled milk. As the mixer blended the white and sticky paste together, we used 4 large eggs to begin creating the dough. Next, grated parmesan cheese and shredded mozzarella cheese were added to the stand mixer. Our Brazilian cheese bread dough was very soft and sticky, just the way we desired. Epicurean Society shaped the dough into balls slightly smaller than golf balls and baked them in a preheated oven of 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. 

Epicurean Society wanted to add some spice to the list, so we decided to tackle a Roasted Pineapple Habanero Salsa. The salsa is made
with roasted and chopped pineapple, tomatillos, habanero peppers, jalapeno peppers, freshly chopped cilantro, juiced lime, olive oil and cream cheese.

In order to create our Miso Caramel Apple Tarts, we tackled three parts: the miso caramel, apple filling and the crunch topping. To start the miso caramel, our team cooked granulated sugar, water and corn syrup together in medium-high heat. We stirred the sugar until all of the contents were dissolved. As we made the mixture, we were searching for a strong amber color. We stopped the heat after all sugar crystals melted and gently stirred in evaporated milk and white miso paste.

Apple filling was started by boiling a gallon of water and placing the diced apples into a large bowl. The boiling water was poured over the apples and stood on the side for a full ten minutes before we drained and dried the apples off. The diced apples were mixed with light brown sugar, tapioca flour and ground cinnamon. The mixture was tossed for it to settle. Our team whisked together 2% milk, Kosher salt, tapioca flour and combined it with the diced apples. Another toss truly combined the mixtures together for an apple filling.

The last component to the Miso Caramel Apple Tarts was the crunch topping which was made by combining all-purpose flour, sugar and a dash of salt into a medium sized bowl. We added cut in butter to make the mixture crumbly and baked until it turned golden brown. With our crunch topping finished, we filled our puff pastries with the apple filling and sprinkled the crunch topping on top. We baked the puff pastries for 10 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. The miso caramel was the drizzle that completed the cooled apple tarts.

Involvement Fair was just the beginning of our organization’s major growth, with 62 students added to our e-mail subscription list. On the morning of September 13th, our hospitality college hosted a fall mixer for its organizations. Through tabling alone, we gathered another 35 students to our roster. Enticing talk about food and committees piqued the interests of non-members.

September 12th and 13th, Wednesday and Thursday respectively, were the first meetings for Epicurean Society and had our members engaged in making and eating rolled ice cream. They were able to try toppings such as Oreos, Nutella, and Hershey’s Chocolate. Not only were they enjoying a dessert treat, they were able to officially join the newly-launched six committees: Restaurant Outings, Partner Relations, Marketing, Fundraising, Front-of-house and Back-of-house. Additionally, the remaining weeks of September will introduce students to our first restaurant outing, partner collaboration and a set of committee assignments.