NORTH MANKATO, Minn., February 21, 2020 – Last year, a group of South Central College (SCC) culinary students traveled to the Basque Country of Spain and France for a unique education abroad experience, where they learned about the culinary techniques and social customs of the region.


This year, it’s South Central College’s turn to play host, with a contingent of 20 students, along with three chaperones, from the Basque region visiting SCC from February 22 – 29. “Our students benefited greatly from their visit to Spain and France, and we hope their counterparts from the Basque region will get just as much out of their experience here,” said Annette Parker, President of South Central College.


During their time at the college, the group will get a unique perspective of Minnesota cuisine and culture.  “With the average February temperature in the Basque region ranging from 43 – 54 degrees, we were a little surprised they wanted to visit Minnesota during this time of the year, but in so doing, they will clearly get the real Minnesota experience,” said Marsha Danielson, SCC Vice President of Economic Development.  Some of the Minnesota-themed activities the Basque students will enjoy around the area include:


Sunday, February 23

  • Ice Fishing on Duck Lake, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
  • Tubing at Mount Kato, 5 – 6:30 p.m.

Monday, February 24

  • Welcome and Tour of SCC, 9 – 9:30 a.m.
  • Vegetable Carving, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
  • Minnesota Lunch, with Juicy Lucy burgers, fries and 1919 root beer floats, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Wednesday, February 26

  • Tator Tot Hotdish Lunch, 12 – 1 p.m.
  • “Minnesota Classics” Dinner with Basque and SCC students preparing and serving Minnesota themed dishes including SPAM appetizer, chicken wild
    rice soup, pot roast with potatoes and carrots, apple pie with ice cream, 1 – 8 p.m.  (Preparation 1 – 6 p.m. and actual dinner at 6 p.m.)        

Friday, February 28

  • Curling at the Mankato Curling Club, 4 – 6:30 p.m.

Other activities in the region during the week include visits to Chankaska Winery, New Sweeden Dairy and Schmidt’s Meat Market. The group will also spend time in the Twin Cities at a Lunds & Byerlys store and production facility, Mall of America and Paisley Park.  

The educational exchange agreement between the Basque Government and South Central College was forged in 2014 to provide SCC and Basque culinary students exposure to the global marketplace. Since then, culinary and advanced manufacturing instructors have made visits to one another’s countries to learn new techniques and practices to bring back to their classrooms. The culinary student visits that began last year are the next step in this partnership.