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Kitchen of Exotic Eats

Learn. Discover. Explore.


Our signature Kitchen of Exotic Eats program offers online and in-person cooking classes to individuals, the community, and organizations in a cultural culinary environment for eager aspiring community chefs and general participants to learn how to cook cultural dishes the way they were prepared and eaten in the origin country using traditional cookware. Many cookware items / equipment and ingredients may not be easily accessible in various geographical locations of the participants; however, the participants will learn tips for substituting ingredients and how to cook the original recipes using modern and accessible cookware. The cooking class will incorporate human journey and cultural stories connected to the significance of certain dishes and its ingredients. Participants will enjoy learning about the cooking techniques and symbolic meaning / purpose of various cookware, ingredients, and elements throughout the preparation and cooking processes as they relate to the diaspora topics surrounding the human journey.

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Cooking Class and Culinary Cultural Experience

Welcome to the IMID’s Kitchen of Exotic Eats cooking class program co-hosted by the Idaho Office for Refugees (by Jannus, Inc.) – our legacy partner. The program offers two opportunities:

  1. Cooking class. This cooking class is an immersive experience that engages the participants in learning how to cook exotic eats alongside our community chef. Participants will learn, discover, and explore a culture-inspired cuisine by making an authentic dish and virtually taught by various community partners ("community chefs"). The class is open to individuals with all levels of culinary experience and will be offered regularly.

  2. Culinary cultural experience. Unlike an actual cooking class format, this cultural culinary experience invites participants who are interested in learning about cultures through the lens of foods. The experience will allow participants to observe, hear stories from the community chef, #LearnDiscoverExplore how the chef prepares and cooks exotic eats, and sample exotic eats in a fun environment that will tempt your taste buds.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 | Afghan Culinary Cultural Experience

In-person Cultural Cooking Experience | Register here


We are pleased to announce our partnership with JUMP for the location of our inaugural cultural cooking experience. Registration is forthcoming. Please stay tuned. 

Date & Time: Tuesday, September 12, 2023  |  6:00pm - 7:30pm MT 

In-person location: JUMP at 1000 W Myrtle St, Boise, ID 83702

Platform: In-person only

Cost: No charge - free to the community | Registration required

Registration: Click here to register

Chef: Seema Shah

Featured Recipes: Ashak a delicious and hearty dish made of pasta dumplings filled with chives and served in a tomato sauce beans and yogurt with dried mint. Fun history about ashak:

  • Traditional Afghan dish enjoyed for centuries.

  • Dumplings are made from a simple dough of flour, water, and salt.

  • The filling is typically chives, but other vegetables like spinach leeks or ghandana can be substituted.

  • The dumplings are boiled in water or steamed until they're cooked through, then served in a tomato sauce, beans, yogurt and dried mint.​


Tuesday, August 29, 2023 | Lao Cuisine Cooking Class

Online Cooking Class Only | Registration closed


We are excited to feature our very own founder and executive director, Dr. Palina Louangketh, who will lead August's online cooking class! Dr. Louangketh will use her very own recipes inspired by her mother's Southern Laos recipes. Register below and join us for a fun evening getting to know our founder and learning how to cook Southern Lao cuisines through the comforts of your own kitchen. To learn more about Chef Louangketh, please see her bio below. 

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 29, 2023  |  5:00pm - 6:30pm MT  |  Virtual Platform: Zoom

Cost: $20.00 USD per household

Chef: Palina Louangketh | Bio

Featured Recipes: 

  • Gai Yaw Jeun (fried crackling rice paper pork rolls)

  • Jaew Som Phet (sweet & savory spicy herbal dipping sauce)

  • Tom Mak Deng (Cucumber Salad)

(Note: This class is open to participants locally, nationally, and internationally; therefore, participants will need to purchase ingredients on their own. The registration fee of $20.00 USD will support our Kitchen of Exotic Eats program, so that we may continue to offer additional classes and support cultural chefs in our aim to connect the community to cultures of the world. The classes are recorded so that the paid participants will have access to recordings).

Meet our chef, Seema Shah
September 12 | Afghan Culinary Cooking Experience
Register here.

Seema Shah was born in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. She came to the U.S with her daughter, Roya, 20 years ago. Today, Seema lives in Boise, and her favorite hobby is cooking. She is so excited to share her culture through some of her favorite Afghan dishes. On the menu will be Ashak, a delicious and hearty dish made of pasta dumplings filled with chives and served in a tomato sauce beans and yogurt with dried mint.  

Meet our chef and founder, Dr. Palina Louangketh
August 29 | Lao Cuisine Online Cooking Class

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Palina was born in Southern Laos and arrived in the U.S. - Idaho - in 1981 with her mother and older brother as refugees from Laos. She is our founder and executive director, and through her vision - inspired by her family's lived experience as refugees, founded the Idaho Museum of International Diaspora in 2018 to honor and preserve cultural heritage from around the world and connect communities to diverse cultures. Palina's mother instilled in her the importance of Lao culture and traditions. She knew that time away from one's origin country may change how culture is practiced from generation to generation. Through home cooked Lao cuisines, her mother always had stories to share when teaching Palina about the cuisines and ingredients of southern Lao foods. The recipes of this cooking class honor the memory of her childhood cooking Lao foods in the American kitchen with her mother. 

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Cooking Class

Thank you for your registration ($20) purchase! We look forward to your participation. You should receive a follow-up email within a few days with the list of ingredients and recipe(s). The Zoom link will be provided 1-2 days prior to the online cooking class. We can't wait to see you soon!

Organic Potatoes


The Idaho Museum of International Diaspora is an Idaho-based 501c3 nonprofit organization. The four sponsorship levels for our Kitchen of Exotic Eats program are potato-themed because Idaho is known for potatoes and is the top potato-producing state in the U.S. We invite your support and sponsorship to advance our work to connect the community to cultures from around the world through the cooking classes of our Kitchen of Exotic Eats program.
Click here to see details about the sponsorship levels. Sponsorship payment can be made by clicking on the options below or mail a check to P. O. Box 45234, Boise, ID 83711. Please make the check payable to "Idaho Museum of
International Diaspora" and send us an email to with your company's logo/branding.

Sponsorship Levels

Click option below:

Potatoes Au Gratin

Fully Loaded Baked Potato

Twice Baked Potato

Seasoned Fries

Contact to learn more or inquire about how to support. 

Join our cultural food movement by donating $10 USD today and you'll instantly become a global Tater Tot Champion! Your contribution will help us expand our Kitchen of Exotic Eats program here in Idaho and globally in our work to connect communities to cultures from around the world through the nurturing power of food.

Become a Tater Tot Champion and donate below:

Tater Tot Champion

Sponsors & Donations
Seasoned Fries Sponsorship
Tater Tot Champion Donations
$160 raised

Calling all Chefs!

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Home cooks and chefs, unite! It's time to share your culinary talents and kitchen secrets with the world, and we have just the opportunity for you!


Our Kitchen of Exotic Eats program is calling on all community chefs to teach cooking class participants in an immersive cultural cooking class experience through the nurturing power of foods because food connects people and communities. Our cooking class is designed to celebrate your cultural heritage.


Join our #culturalfoodmovement and email us today at if you are interested in becoming a Kitchen of Exotic Eats chef. 


Class duration: 1 hour (online) | 1.5 hours (hybrid or in-person)

Class schedule: Flexible

Stipend: Yes

Past Virtual Cooking Classes

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