Des Moines Social ClubHowdy! Education and Outreach Intern Alyssa Bovinette here. For my Interns Try, I chose to shadow one of the many exciting cooking class offerings at Des Moines Social Club (DMSC). DMSC has hosted a variety of cooking classes taught by Cass Spence over the years, as her eclectic instruction and exposure to international cuisine is truly unique. Dim Sum and Then Some, a class concentrating on popular Chinese cooking styles, gave in-depth instruction for the proper ingredients, preparation, and cooking processes behind these food experiences.


Des Moines Social Club

What we made…

From pinching dumplings to twisting buns, this course included step-by-step instruction for a series of special dishes including:
Shrimp Wontons with Spicy Sauce
Steamed Pork Buns
Chive and Pork Dumplings &
Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings)

How it went down…

Cass’ welcoming and playful personality continues to give attendees the confidence to experiment and learn without judgement or fear of making mistakes, while learning niche, valuable skills for specialty cooking. By breaking into small groups, with each concentrating on one of four recipes, guests had the chance to mingle and get to know their other group members, a truly “family style” cooking setting.

After boiling and steaming the final products for each recipe, guests had the chance to try their creations in a sit down setting in the Des Moines Social Club’s Culinary Loft. Cass’ Dim Sum class is just one of several cooking classes instructed by her, as more courses focusing on Thai cuisine, Louisiana Creole cooking styles, and Japanese street food are on the calendar in coming months. As DMSC works to provide unique programming in the community, we are fortunate to have dedicated instructors like Cass who bring their passion and excitement to downtown Des Moines. Now, let’s eat!



Written by Alyssa Bovinette, Education Intern