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On Nov. 15, the Department of Food Science hosted its first annual Fall Fest event. Students, staff and faculty from throughout Babcock Hall—including the Babcock Hall Dairy Plant, the Babcock Hall Dairy Store and the Center for Dairy Research—were all invited. The event, put on in partnership with the Intertribal Agriculture Council, involved learning about the traditional foods of Native Peoples; helping to prepare a meal using local, indigenous foods under the guidance of three chefs; and then enjoying the feast together. It was a memorable experience for all involved, yielding much more than a nutritious meal. Participants gained a deeper appreciation for Native foods and culture, while immersed in a community-building event. The photos below capture some of the activities of the evening.

Dan Cornelius, technical assistance specialist with the Intertribal Agriculture Council and member of the Oneida Nation, described how various types of hominy are prepared. Hominy is one of the “Three Sisters” – corn, beans and squash – that are traditionally grown together. Eaten as a trio, they provide the nutrition needed for Native American peoples to thrive on a mostly plant-based diet.
Chef Elena Terry (center), owner of Wild Bearies catering and member of the Ho Chunk Nation, demonstrated how to prepare and roast squash, which was later pureed and used as a topping on two types of pudding: hominy pudding and wild rice pudding.
Yusuf Bin-Rella, chef at UW-Madison’s Dejope Residence Hall, showed food science students how to cut, coat (with ground hominy) and bake whitefish. Bin-Rella is also the co-founder of TradeRoots Culinary Collective, an organization that seeks to raise the profile of soul food and the cuisine of the African diaspora in Madison.
Attendees tried their hand at grinding hominy using traditional Native tools. A handful of hominy turned to powder with just a few taps.
Dinner is served! Attendees filled their plates with the various dishes they learned about and helped to prepare. Dishes included (approximately left to right) a colorful “Three Sisters Salad” with beans, squash, hominy and additional vegetables; various types of cooked hominy; candied hominy that had been sweetened with maple syrup and then roasted; wild rice pudding and (blue-colored) hominy pudding that were topped with frosting and squash puree; and baked whitefish that had been coated in ground hominy.