A Recipe for Solidarity: Chinese Chorizo Project Pop-Up & Mixer at the University of Arizona

March 26, 2024
By Matt Sterner

How does the sausage get made? A question often posed by Chef Feng-Feng Yeh, creator of the Chinese Chorizo Project, could be answered — by many hands. 

On Thursday, March 28, two University of Arizona campus cultural centers, Asian Pacific American Student Affairs (APASA) and the Guerrero Student Center (GSC), are teaming up with Chef Yeh, Arizona Student Unions, and the Asian Pacific American (APA) Faculty Network to cook up “A Recipe for Solidarity.”

The event celebrates the start of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Month on campus, featuring a cooking demo for and an open mic mixer for UArizona students from 2 – 4 p.m., and a pop-up dinner at Cork & Craft 4:30 – 7 p.m. 

Cork & Craft (Photo by Hannah Hernandez)

Chinese Chorizo as an ingredient and symbol of intersecting foodways highlights a past of Mexican and Chinese immigrant solidarity and the closeness of the communities, when constrained by housing discrimination elsewhere they lived closely together in downtown Tucson.

Many Chinese groceries found a niche serving its local community, sustaining and sustained by Mexican families, spawning the creation of “Chinese” chorizo, prior to a shared displacement by urban renewal. 

“The act of bringing Chinese Chorizo back is one of community love and care,” said Yeh. “By actively engaging our community to work collectively, we are able to form true bonds. When we work together, we are able to accomplish more in service to our community, and this one happens to be a very delicious service! Most importantly, through these collaborations, we are able to see each other’s humanity: to recognize and restore the historical erasure POC, immigrants, and marginalized people have experienced.”

GSC Director, Dominique Calza, notes the project’s particular resonance for students, “As a Cultural & Resource Center serving Latinx students, it is important to us to highlight and uplift the spirit of solidarity present in the shared histories and experiences of our communities to not only amplify our voices and enact meaningful change together but to also join in the celebration and shared visioning.”

Cooking Demo & Mixer
From 2 – 4 p.m. at 1303 E. University Blvd.

The event kicks off with a Zongzi/Chinese Tamale Cooking Demo with Chef Yeh in the Student Union’s Culinary Studio (2 – 4 p.m.).

Students from the APIDA- and Latinx-serving cultural centers will learn about the Chinese Chorizo Project’s history and prepare the food together with the project’s namesake ingredient. Similar to family traditions of making and eating holiday tamales, zongzi are also wrapped in a celebration of the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival and remembrance of a Chinese poet–scholar, according to folklore. 

“The student body and campus community have planned numerous events to spotlight the diverse AANHPI community,” said Kenny Importante, Director of APASA. “Anticipation is high among students as they eagerly await this celebration in creating a sense of belonging and validating their cultural and ethnic identities.”

Chinese Chorizo Pop-Up Dinner
From 4:30 – 7 p.m. at 1303 E. University Blvd.

The event continues with a Chinese Chorizo Pop-Up and open mic with Chef Yeh and the APA Faculty Network at Cork & Craft featuring “solidarity specials” — shareable bites made with the key ingredient — from 4:30 – 7 p.m.

“As we form this newest faculty affinity group, celebrating solidarity is at the heart of our vision — to create intersectional coalitions with our colleagues who supported our hopes to build community and recognize AAPI contributions on this campus and in the Borderlands,” said Dr. Jacqueline Barrios, Assistant Professor.

Chinese Chorizo Specials in April

Throughout April 2024, Cork & Craft in the UArizona Student Union Memorial Center at 1303 E. University Blvd. will be serving two Chinese Chorizo Solidarity Specials. One of the dishes will be vegan and gluten-free.

For more public events being hosted by student organizations, campus partners, and APASA, visit apasa.arizona.edu

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