Asian Food Festival to hit the Banks

The Asian Food Festival, which was founded in 2010 and has been held at the Kolping Center near Mt. Healthy until now, will celebrate its third anniversary with a move to The Banks in downtown Cincinnati.

The AFF serves as a fundraising event for Care 2 Share, a non-profit organization of Vietnamese-American volunteers who work to provide funding, ideas and the human touch to the people of Vietnam. The festival has drawn crowds of 4,000 attendees who enjoy the food, performances and live bands.

The move downtown is just one of several changes for the AFF this year. In its attempt to highlight the cultural diversity in Cincinnati, the group hopes to reach a broader, and larger, audience.

“The move to downtown Cincinnati marks the start of what we hope to be an ongoing relationship with the urban core of this city.” says Rome Ntukogu, marketing director of the Asian Food Festival. “We want to contribute to the growth of the Banks.”

Leading up to the festival on May 19 and 20, the AFF hosts a four-week cook-off series at Findlay Market. Every Sunday in March, a free cook-off will include prizes for audience and judge favorites. Each week will feature a different Asian item, from fried rice, congee and curry to Asian barbeque. Each cook-off is limited to 30 entrants.

In May, the festival will be held on West Freedom Way between Elm and Rosa Parks Street, just east of Paul Brown Stadium. More than 30 vendors will be present, including sponsoring beer Mt. Carmel, so attendees can expect a mix of Cincinnati beer and Korean barbeque. Entertainment will include a children’s play park.

By Evan Wallis
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