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The Georgia Straight - - Richmond World Fest -

When Cur­tis Luk takes a turn on the culi­nary stage at the up­com­ing Rich­mond World Fes­ti­val, the chances of him hav­ing the jit­ters are slim. That’s be­cause the set­ting has a fa­mil­iar feel for the ex­ec­u­tive chef of Mis­sion Kit­si­lano.

“I grew up in Markham [On­tario], which is like the Rich­mond over there,” Luk tells the Straight on the line from his Kit­si­lano res­tau­rant. “We have gi­ant Chi­nese malls, and there’s a lot of

Asian in­flu­ences.

It re­ally re­minds me of home. It’s un­canny how sim­i­lar it is; some of the bet­ter Chi­nese restau­rants in the Greater Toronto area are there. So, for me, be­ing at the fes­ti­val is like be­ing at home.”

Luk, who moved west just over five years ago, will be show­ing foodlov­ing fest at­ten­dees how to make his green-gar­banzo hum­mus with lo­cal cru­dités. It’s a fresh-tast­ing dish, light and tex­tu­ral, the green gar­banzo beans lend­ing it a flavour rem­i­nis­cent of fava beans or green peas. It’s also a sim­ple one for a rea­son.

“I wanted some­thing you can ac­tu­ally make at home,” Luk says. “There are a lot of com­pli­cated things on TV cook­ing shows. If you’re go­ing to demo on the stage, the per­son watch­ing should feel like ‘Oh yeah, that’s some­thing I’d try.’ ”

The cook­ing stage is one com­po­nent of the event’s food of­fer­ings. The FEASTIVAL of Flavours will fea­ture more than 50 food trucks, in­clud­ing Chick­pea, Curry Ex­press, Ja­maican Mi Juicy, Kam­pong, Old Coun­try Pierogi, and Slavic Rolls.

Also ap­pear­ing on the culi­nary stage are sev­eral other lo­cal tal­ents, in­clud­ing Kimiko Suzuki, who teaches Ja­panese cook­ing at UBC Farm and other places around Metro Van­cou­ver. She’ll be tak­ing to the stage for the sec­ond year in a row.

“Rich­mond has a spe­cial place in my heart,” Suzuki tells the Straight. “I was born and raised in Wakayama, Ja­pan. Rich­mond and Wakayama have a long his­tory as sis­ter cities. My hus­band was raised in Rich­mond and we met while I was work­ing there. Rich­mond World Fes­ti­val helps all peo­ple re­mem­ber that we live in a big one world to­gether, and we should en­joy and ap­pre­ci­ate each other, as a com­mu­nity.”

Suzuki will be shar­ing her recipe for kim­chi fried rice. It has ba­con and wa­ter chest­nuts and is spicy, salty, and crunchy all at once.

“This dish is cre­ated from in­gre­di­ents from all over the world,” she says. “Kim­chi is orig­i­nally from Korea, lots of South Asian dishes have wa­ter chest­nuts, ba­con is from Canada, and sushi rice is from Ja­pan. This is a dish where the world comes to­gether. I love to show peo­ple how sim­ple it is to make great meals hap­pen.”

Thai chef Pailin Chong­chit­nant, mean­while, makes cook­ing videos for her Youtube chan­nel and her One World Kitchen is in its sec­ond sea­son on Gusto. She will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in the fest for the first time.

“Be­ing a mem­ber of a mi­nor­ity eth­nic group my­self, I al­ways love and ap­pre­ci­ate events that shine light onto dif­fer­ent cul­tures that are rep­re­sented here in Canada, es­pe­cially ones that are lesser known by the gen­eral pub­lic,” Chong­chit­nant says.

She’ll be mak­ing pineap­ple fried rice, sea­soned with clas­sic Thai in­gre­di­ents such as fish sauce and soy sauce, as well as curry pow­der and white pep­per for added warmth.

“Tart, fresh pineap­ple, not canned, con­trasts per­fectly with the nut­ti­ness from cashews, and if you’re a fan of raisins you can throw those in too,” Chong­chit­nant ex­plains. “It’s one of those dishes you can’t stop eat­ing, plus it’s beau­ti­ful and quick to put to­gether. It’s not some­thing I grew up eat­ing in Thai­land, ac­tu­ally, be­cause peo­ple there like to put raisins in it, which I can’t stand. But now that I’m cook­ing my own food, I can con­ve­niently leave them out.

“It’s such an easy and de­li­cious dish any­one can do at home, and that’s al­ways my goal when do­ing demos: to show peo­ple Thai food does not have to be com­pli­cated,” she adds. “It’s also a dish that per­fectly rep­re­sents Chi­nese and In­dian in­flu­ences on Thai cui­sine, so when I demo this dish, it opens a door for me to talk about cul­tural roots of Thai cui­sine as well.”

Mis­sion Kit­si­lano ex­ec­u­tive chef Cur­tis Luk will demon­strate how to make green-gar­banzo hum­mus with lo­cal cru­dités.

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