It was Chinese New Year, and Duke Pathology PhD students gathered for a dumpling retreat in celebration of the”Year of the Dog”. Organized by Yuanfan Yang and hosted by Steven Shen, the event turned out to be both delicious and informative. For many of us, myself included, it was the first time we would make dumplings from scratch. The learning curve was steep: the perfect dumpling requires delicious meat or vegetable filling, a precise filling to dough ratio, and a particular style of crimping to ensure successful closure. There were many failed attempts before getting it right – fortunately we had experienced dumplingologists in our midst to guide us. By the end of the event, after our trials through dumpling experimentation, we had succeeded in preparing dumplings three ways (steamed, boiled, and fried) and had gained an appreciation for the work behind the finished product. I found that enduring the heat in the beginning was crucial to making it through to the delectable conclusion.