Friends, Romans, Dumplingmen, lend me your bowls. On National Dumpling Day, Saturday, September 26th, enthusiasts of the delicious gooey balls of glory gathered at Sarah Roosevelt Park and sojourned from tent to tent in hopes of finding the perfect bite at The 2015 Chef One NYC Dumpling Festival.
Visitors to the event were greeted by a walking Dumpling Mama Mascot who was not shy about the photo ops. See left as she breaks for a little time with the future dumpling eaters of America.
Pedestrians rejoiced as they enjoyed an appetizing array of dumplings from cultures around the world. Admission to the festival is free but for a mere $20 tasting ticket, you can grab goodies from four tents of your choosing and the portions aren’t small.
DumplingGo offered up their steamed chicken and basil dumplings. Chef One, the events sponsor showcased their edamame dumpling with a chicken wonton and asian salad slaw.
One hundred percent of all proceeds from ticket sales are being donated to Food Bank for New York City a major hunger relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs. Since 2004, Chef One a major Brooklyn based food manufacturer has been hosting the festival with it’s infamous Dumpling Eating Contest as a way of paying it forward to members of the community.
For those who know me, they know I have an extreme fondness for an occasional eating contest. Although I didn’t participate this go round I did some stomach exercises silently to myself while watching Takeru Kobayashi doing a 30-second demo of dumpling eating to show future contestants how it’s done. Note to self Megan, hold dumplings high, to the mouth, and shove. Rinse and repeat.
As always I was accompanied by my homies #squadgoals. The ladies hit up the bubble tea tent to get their tapioca fix and Lincoln made sure to grab an empanada. Jocelyn was actually in from Denver just in time to get her fix! She’ll have to bring all of her secrets back to the Rockies. Rocky Mountain Dumpling high anyone?
That green somewhat shapeless blob is the dumpling of my nightmares. The festival hosts a dumpling cutting ceremony as opposed to the so last year tradition of ribbon cutting. Chef One has happily obliged creating this monster for that exact use.
I was pleasantly surprised by a beverage they were showcasing. Bruce Cost Gingerale was light and refreshing with passion fruit on the bottom. You could really taste the ginger but it didn’t bite the palate as it’s want to do. I highly recommend this fizzy treat.
I know what you’re saying at this point….but Megan, dumplings make me gag (I do honestly feel for you if you say that) but stranger things have happened. Don’t worry, the dumpling festival has a plethora of activities to entertain the most crotchety dumpling naysayer. There were live cultural performances including these sweet dancing dragons. Raffles, a dumpling making class, and of course the dumpling eating contest! Even if you don’t want to put them in your mouth, watch on in awe as a mere mortal puts one too many in theirs.
No matter where you stand on dumplings, the Dumpling Festival is a joy. There was never a dull moment, or for that matter an empty plate. Next year, take out your tastebud passport and stamp it in honor of the NYC Dumpling Festival.