Skip Navigation

Culinary cultural exchange

Chef Minelia, Pauline and Catherine Strohbehn in Kitchen

Catherine Strohbehn, HRIM Extension Specialist showed Yucatecan Chef Minelia Romero Mendoza and her daughter Paulina Espinse Romero the Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom as part of a cultural exchange between Iowa and Yucatan, Mexico. Chef Minelia is a well-known chef from Yucatan who specializes in transforming traditional Yucatecan regional dishes into comtemporary menus. Chef Minelia and her daughter Paulina Espinose Romero operate both a restaurant and catering business in Merida, the capital of Yucatan. They were interested in learning about food related trends in the United States and educational preparation for restaurant and foodservice managers. The Joan Bice Underwood Tearoom, located in MacKay Hall, serves as a quantity food production and service laboratory for students enrolled in the Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management and Dietetics majors. The exchange was sponsored by Iowa Sister States, with a potential reciprocal trip to Yucatan in the future.