Dallas natives know that our North Texas Metroplex is home to many enclaves of rich, diverse culture. Often revealed only by word-of-mouth, a tiny restaurant on a street corner or hidden boutique may hold authentic global tastes and treasures. Rarely, however, is such an experience presented on a grand scale, offering locals an immersive treat for all senses from a faraway land.
The 1st Annual Thai Culture & Food Festival is just such a treat. Free and family-friendly, dozens of restaurateurs, artisans, performers, and dignitaries will gather for the unprecedented event, taking place May 24 – 25 at the gorgeous garden paradise of the Buddhist Center of Dallas. We at DFW Style Daily were permitted a sneak peek at the festival at a recent press event, so we write from direct experience when describing the delights in store.
While sipping from a fresh coconut, visitors to the Thai Culture & Food Festival may choose from a wide range of dishes representing all four regions of Thailand. Pad Thai, Pad Kee Mow, and spicy papaya salad will please heat-seekers, and sticky rice with mango is a sweet treat not to be missed. Handmade noodles and vegan dishes are among additional cuisine highlights.
Naturally, our appetite for shopping is even greater, and a Made in Thailand pop-up shop will satisfy those cravings – and then some. The work of many Thai artisans, artists, and fashion designers will be offered, including goods not available anywhere else in town. Gifts, décor, and accessories will go beyond the realm of typical souvenirs.
All the while, two stages will host dance and music performances, plus multiple Muay Thai boxing matches. Further, for the first time in 30 years, the Thai community will open the doors of the temple at the Buddhist Center of Dallas for guided public tours. In the words of Jess Virattanajun, President of the Thai Community Center of North Texas, “The Thai Culture & Food Festival is two days to celebrate, to unite our Thai-American community, and to welcome everyone to come learn and truly experience our Thai culture.”
The Thai Culture & Food Festival will take place May 24 – 25, 2014, at The Buddhist Center of Dallas (8484 Stults Road, Dallas). Admission and parking are free, and proceeds from the sale of food and goods will benefit the Thai Community Center of North Texas and Buddhist Center of Dallas. For more information, visit ThaiFestDallas.com.