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Moon Rabbit’s chef Kevin Tien throws a huge AAPI festival on the Wharf in May.
Scott Suchman

D.C. Chef Kevin Tien Orchestrates a Massive Culinary Festival for a Cause

The Wharf’s first-ever ‘Everything, Everyone, All the Food at Once Fest’ celebrates AAPI Heritage Month through food

Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

The biggest night market of its kind — featuring food from more than 18 Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) chefs — takes over the Southwest Waterfront’s lengthy District Pier on Saturday, May 20.

Kevin Tien, the head chef at the Wharf’s Vietnamese fine-dining destination Moon Rabbit and co-founder of Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate, hosts the inaugural festival in honor of AAPI Heritage Month in May. He’s calling it “Everything, Everyone, All the Food at Once Fest” as a riff on the groundbreaking Oscar-winning film that was praised for its representation of the Asian community. The all-ages event (101 District Square SW) includes two sessions, from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tickets ($20) include access to stalls from D.C. chefs Tim Ma (Lucky Danger), Victoria Lai (Ice Cream Jubilee), Julie Cortes (Kaliwa), Patrice Cunningham (Tae-Gu Kimchi) Scott Chung (Bun’d Up, Sparrow Room) and Jerome Grant (Mahal). Food and beverage will be available for purchase, and each session includes entertainment from local musicians plus TBA surprises.

Shuai Wang, chef/owner of Jackrabbit Filly and King BBQ in Charleston, plans to make Malay fish curry.
Shuai Wang

On the eve of the festival, Friday, May 19, a seated, multi-course “Dinner on the Dock” features a family-style menu prepared by a star-studded cast of AAPI chefs from all over the U.S. Dishes include som tom from Palita Sriratana (Pink Salt, Chicago), Thai-style smoked pork shoulder from Timon Balloo (The Katherine, Miami) and egg tofu by Christine Lau (The CLAU Group, New York City). Other visiting chefs include Ni and Anna Nguyen (sắp sửa, Denver), Shuai Wang (Jackrabbit Filly and King BBQ, Charleston), and Nini Nguyen (New Orleans), plus Erik Bruner-Yang of D.C.’s Maketto.

The $350-per-person dinner, served on one communal table spanning the length of District Pier, runs 6:30 to 10 p.m. View menu here.

Tien hopes to make the festival an annual one going forward to benefit his pandemic-born nonprofit Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate, which raises money and awareness around violence against Asian Americans. The group has united more than 50 chefs from across the U.S. via dinners and takeout meals, totaling some $500,000 in donated sales. Civil rights organization Rise is another named charity partner.

The Katherine chef Timon Balloo.
Timon Balloo
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