You’re viewing a version of this story optimized for slow connections. To see the full story click here.

Multicultural Feast at the Foundry

Hosted by the Molecular Foundry’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Story by Berkeley Lab December 12th, 2017

The Molecular Foundry hosts staff and users from around the world belonging to a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds. To highlight and celebrate this diversity, the Molecular Foundry’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee hosted its first ever Multicultural Thanksgiving Potluck where participants were encouraged to bring favorite dishes and stories from their culture to share with their colleagues.


Celebrating our diversity, Bonding over delicious food and conversation

Users and staff from the Foundry community gathered to share their favorite recipes from all corners of the world with a multicultural Thanksgiving potluck. Well over 100 people attended the potluck, with over 50 different dishes ranging from Sichaun Spicy noodles (Chinese), Käsespätzle (German), Bacalhoada (Brazilian), Kutja (Polish), Seviyaan (Pakistani), and Corn pudding (American-Texan).


For those who were not familiar with traditional Thanksgiving fare, there was also a chance to sample traditional American Thanksgiving dishes like turkey and pumpkin pie. LBL Runaround participants stopped by after the event with their hungry appetites to sample the fare. Each dish was accompanied by details of the dish name, its origins, and its ingredients, allowing inquiring minds to learn more about various cuisines and cultures. The potluck was a fun experience that brought people together from all ethnicities and countries to recognize and celebrate the unique backgrounds encountered at the Foundry.



“I brought bacalhoada because I love this dish but since several members of my family just can't stand the stinky smell of salted cod I never cook it at home”

“Spicy cold noodle is a signature popular dish made in Sichuan style. The noodles were handmade on the day by my father-in-law who is a certified chef in China and takes pride in cooking.”


“I made corn pudding because it is my great-grandma 'Berta's recipe and has been a family tradition at holidays throughout my childhood. I loved it so much as a kid that my family often made an extra batch just for me since I would eat it all otherwise.”

“I made Kaesespaetzle because it is my son Matty's favorite dish, and I hoped that the MF students may also like it. Although the dish is not from the German area where we are from (dish is Bavarian, we are from Cologne) the corresponding local Cologne dish would have been Potato Pancakes (latkes) which is a favorite Hanukah dish in the US, and therefore the wrong holiday.”

“I brought Seviyaan to the potluck because it is a traditional desert served on Eid festival which in many ways is similar to Thanksgiving - we gather with family and friends and prepare a large feast.”


Supporting a Culture of Inclusion

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the Molecular Foundry was formed in 2016 when the Foundry became its own division. The goal of the committee is to celebrate the Foundry’s diverse workforce and to serve its specific needs


Photographs by Marilyn Chung, Berkeley Lab Lead Photographer

Additional photographs by Branden Brough