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Admittedly, I have a lot to learn at the Arizona Asian Festival. I don’t know tai chi. I can’t do origami. But I can say, without hesitation, that I’m a skilled eater, a talent that’s no doubt shared by our readers, who’ll enjoy tasting naan from India and spring rolls from Vietnam as much as I will.
Now in its 16th year, the Arizona Asian Festival brings East and West together this Saturday and Sunday at Heritage & Science Park. More than a dozen Asian cultures are represented, with two stages that showcase entertainment, including traditional dances and music, martial arts demonstrations, Japanese Taiko drumming and more.
Spend an afternoon strolling through the Avenue of Cultures, featuring booths from different cultures. Or take your tots to the Children’s Wonderland, designed to keep kids happy and parents sane.
Want to learn taekwondo? Local masters can show you how. Interested in body painting? Artists will demonstrate Mehendi, an ancient form of Indian body painting. And I haven’t forgotten my fellow foodies, who can sample heavenly food from Cambodia, Thailand, Korea, China, India and more.
Speaking of heavenly food, Heritage & Science Park has an even bigger coup in store for those who love Asian cuisine. Chef Nobuo Fukuda, winner of numerous accolades (including the biggie, a James Beard Award), is opening his first Downtown restaurant this summer.
Fukuda is transforming The Teeter House from a Victorian tearoom into a cozy sanctuary for his artful blend of Japanese and global cuisine. Nobuo at Teeter House will serve bento boxes, steamed pork buns and Asian teas at lunch, while dinner will feature his signature sashimi and izakaya, or Japanese tavern, food.
Expect local and organic produce in his dishes, and wonderful pairings of wine and food. We’ll keep you posted about the opening date of Nobuo at Teeter House, which will add even more luster to the Downtown Phoenix dining scene. Until then, kanpai!