The Chinese and Japanese cooking staff at 360 Taiko are excited. And not just because it’s the first-ever Asian Cultural Heritage Week in Patchogue.
It’s because they’ve been given free reign to show off all the foods from home.
“This isn’t Americanized Asian food,” Taiko’s general manager, Sam Escobar, said of the specials being run for the celebration, which stretches from Tuesday, Feb. 5 to Sunday, Feb. 10. “This is food and spirits people normally don’t eat here, almost to educate everybody.”
Those dishes include the Sweet Amaebi (pictured above), which consists of sweet shrimp, uni, caviar and orange, which will be available this weekend. Coconut snapper is also on the special menu all week.
Even Patchogue’s non-Asian restaurants are getting in on the fun, with places like PeraBell, Village Idiot Pub and Local Burger Co. all offering Asian-style selections. Local Burger, for instance, has added a Korean BBQ burger.
Click here for a complete list of participating restaurants.
But it’s not just about food this week.
The Patchogue Arts Council’s John Cino is curating an Asian-inspired art show upstairs at the BrickHouse Brewery that will be on display until Feb. 24. Plaza MAC is screening Legend of the Demon Cat, which is set over a thousand years ago, during the Tang Dynasty.
And Saturday, Feb. 9, Asian-themed ice carvings will be on display at three locations in the village: in front of Capital One Plaza, Artspace Lofts and Bank of America.
Patchogue’s Asian Cultural Heritage Week was the brainchild of local attorney and BrickHouse Brewery co-founder Tom Keegan. Keegan also chairs the Greater Patchogue Foundation’s Cultural Heritage Committee.
The idea was to bring an “additional facet to Patchogue’s celebration of cultural diversity and making a destination for all,” he said.
“The [committee] has recognized the important contributions of those of Asian descent to the arts, music and menus of our community,” he said. “Thank you to Plaza Cinema, the Patchogue Parks and Recreation Department, the ice sculptures and all the volunteers who helped with what we hope will be another annual event.”
The committee also runs the St. Patrick’s Parade, which this year falls on St. Patricks’ Day, March 17, Reggae in May and the St. Liberata Italian-American festival.