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Death Cafe: Hot Pot Edition

Join us and The Green-Wood Cemetery for an interactive Death Cafe on Zoom as moderator, Bethany Tabor, and Death Becomes Her artist, Heidi Lau, discuss Lau's art practice and the importance of hot pots in Chinese culture.


TUE, APR 28 | 5:30PM



Still from Death Cafe: Hot Pot Edition companion video, created by Brian Zegeer and Heidi Lau.

This special edition of The Green-Wood Cemetery's popular Death Cafe is inspired by artist Heidi Lau, whose work is featured in the exhibition Death Becomes Her (co-curated by BRIC and Green-Wood). Lau will begin the evening discussing her art practice and the importance of hot pots in Chinese culture as an opportunity for nourishment, conversation, and reflection. Led by Death Cafe moderator, Bethany Tabor, participants will be encouraged to make their own hot pots (Lau has provided recipes and tips, below), while taking part in intimate group conversations about their thoughts and feelings on death. As always, the Death Cafe is an opportunity for safe and open exchanges, without an agenda.

The Death Cafe will take place on Zoom. Participants will receive an email with the Zoom link and access code. It is recommended that you arrive 10 minutes before the program starts to confirm that your camera and microphone are working.

Lau invites participants to indulge in any dish or snacks that feel fitting—eating a hot pot is not mandatory! Lau will also be teaming up with artist Brian Zegeer (both BRIC Media Arts Fellowship alumni) to create a video of a group fantasy hot pot experience inspired by Lau's sculpture and the world building of Animal Crossing. 

This program is presented as part of Death Becomes Her, an exhibition co-curated by BRIC and Green-Wood.

Homemade Broth Recipe Suggestions:

Almost Healthy Turmeric Coconut Broth

One 13 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
1/4 cup thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Finely grated zest and juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
Handful of salt 

Optional: 2 fresh red chiles, thinly sliced for extra kick

Throw everything except salt into a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat so the broth is simmering. Simmer for 10 minutes, until the flavors are infused into the broth. Taste and season with more sugar, salt, and lime juice if necessary.

Quarantine Only Broth

Two broth packages from your favorite instant ramen
2 crushed garlic cloves or 2 spoonful of garlic puree
2 roughly chopped old scallion
Sesame oil

Boil 4 cups of water, mix in broth packages and garlic. Simmer for a few minutes, taste and season with sesame oil and scallion. 

*Ingredient amount is for a small or personal pot, for a bigger pot adjust by doubling the ingredients or just make a slightly less intense version by adding more chicken or vegetable stock. As you start cooking the meat and veggies, it will become more and more flavorful and complex. 

Quarantine Hot Pot Ingredients and Tips:


  • Vegetables: Mushrooms, Enoki mushrooms, potatoes, taro, corn, and lotus roots are all great ingredients for hot pot. This is also just a great way to use up any leafy greens that are in your fridge.
  • Tofu: Freezing some firm tofu and thawing before use will make the tofu more porous and absorbent of the broth. Tofu takes longer to cook through so throw it in at the beginning. 
  • For meat lovers: Thin-sliced meat is usually the focal point of any hotpot, if you do not have access to Asian markets for those pre-sliced fatty beef you can actually try slicing your own meat at home. Freezing your meat for around 20 minutes will make it firms up and make it much easier to slice. 
  • Seafood: If you are feeling fancy, you can thin-slice up some cod, salmon the same way.
  • Other ingredients: Seaweed, meat balls, spam, and NOODLES.


  1. Keep broth to a low or medium simmer.
  2. Keep two separate pairs of chopsticks, one for eating cooked food and one for throwing raw ingredients into the pot.
  3. Add a few pieces of food at a time, items like tofu or corn take a while to cook and should go into the pot in the beginning. Thin sliced meat and fish will cook in less than 30 second and should be removed from the pot immediately so they do not get overcooked.
  4. After a while the broth in your pot will become more and more reduced, add water / new broth when it gets too low.
  5. Save room (in your stomach) to cook the noodles and drink the broth at the end!

Founded in 1838 and now a National Historic Landmark, Green-Wood was one of the first rural cemeteries in America. Spread across 478 spectacular acres of hills, valleys, glacial ponds and paths, the Cemetery boasts  one of the largest outdoor collections of 19th- and 20th-century statuary and mausoleums. Throughout the year, visitors are welcomed to explore Green-Wood through art installations, concerts, book readings, outdoor film screenings, death education programs, and  tours.