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Silicon Valley Food and Art Festival Part 2

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Gerrye Wong's Views
Silicon Valley Food and Art Festival Part 2
Patrons Enjoyed Food Samplings from India and China

At the 2014 Silicon Valley Food and Art Festival, citizens of Cupertino thronged to Quinlan Center to taste foods from different ethnic communities.
 
I enjoyed hearing each chef describe his/her dish with the use of different ingredients native to her home country. Judges enjoying the many tasty unique foods for their judging included Mayor of Cupertino Gilbert Wong, Food Writer Linda Wu, CEO China Stix Restaurant Frank Chang, Inchin’s Bamboo Garden Restaurant Founder Amitabh Agrawal, Cupertino Rotary Club President Hung Wei, Event Chair of Cupertino Rotary Club Mahesh Nihalani and Pizza Party President Linda Blair.
 
   When queried why she continued the early struggles for four long years to bring food diversity to the Cupertino public, Diana Ding replied, “ I am very passionate about food and feel this food festival is one small way we can spread different cultures through the medium of food.”  Looking around the room, I agreed that many of people crowding to the competing chefs and local restaurant booths for tasty bite-size helpings were trying these dishes for the first time in their lives.  Individual servings sold at $1 a cup with proceeds going to the Cupertino Rotary Club, a cooperative partner of the festival. Unlike the past SV Food Festivals, which were attended by mostly Chinese patrons, today’s event drew many Southeast Indians to support their amateur chef contestants as well as many Caucasians interested foodies.
 
As San Jose City Council member Kansen Chu, announced to the throng assembled, “Here at the Festival let’s think of all the varieties of food offered us today as world-wide ingredients for a big salad which is tossed and enhanced with American seasoning.”
Founder Diana Ding and Former Cupertino Mayor Orrin Mahoney, who both conceived the idea of melding cultures together through food, stood proud as they watched people stream in all day to sample the foods of the amateur chefs as well as the supporting restaurants. 
 
 I applaud the chefs who used their home kitchens to produce many tasteful and tasty dishes. Competing chefs were Shoba Ratnasamy, Ben Huang, Pallavi Shah, Julie Lai, Shuchi Bhargavaa, Lina Li, Jasmine Lee, Sunil Mehta, Yoshesh Vyas, Kiran Kavoori and Marwah Om.
 
Although the judges had to make hard choices after enjoying all the tastings, First place went to Om Marwah, second place to Julie Lai and third place was captured by Sunil Mehta who also won the title of Favorite Chef of the Day.   Much community participation was evident among the local leaders.  Award presenters included Kansen Chu, Savita Vaidhy, Don Sun,  Emily Lo, Barry Chang, George Shao, Steve Wang and Angela Chen. 

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