Celebrating APAHM: Chef James Syhabout Cooks Up Thai Fare at Macy’s Union Square

Butchering the chicken. (credit: Karen Datangel)

Culinary delights are sure things to be celebrated during Asian Pacific-American Heritage Month, and Bay Area foodies rejoiced at the opportunity to learn more about the art of Asian cooking (And satisfy their tastebuds too!) from a local celebrity chef.

As part of Macy’s series of Asian Pacific-American Heritage Month events, the Union Square store in San Francisco welcomed Michelin Star chef James Syhabout to the Cellar Kitchen on May 5th for a cooking demonstration and tasting. A Thailand native who grew up in Oakland, CA, he is the chef and owner of Commis Restaurant and proprietor of Hawker Fare Restaurant, which are also both located in Oakland. Hawker Fare is a Southeast Asian street food joint that Syhabout brought a piece of to his audience, by cooking one of their signature dishes Khao Mun Gai, or Thai-style chicken and rice.

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Indie-Pino Underground Music Fest Brings Filipino-American Musicians to San Francisco

Golda + the Guns were one of the darker rock acts to perform at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' (YBCA) Indie-Pino Underground Music Fest (photo credit: Karen Datangel).

Of all the ways to spend a hot Saturday afternoon in San Francisco, the Indie-Pino Underground Music Festival was the number one outdoor spot to enjoy fresh live tunes from some seriously scorching acts and some tantalizing Filipino dishes and desserts too! The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) hosted the free event in their Sculpture Court on June 9th to coincide with their New Filipino Cinema program, and many folks came, went, and stayed to take in the music and food along with the nice weather.

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Pistahan Highlights Food, Boxing, Art, and More in Celebration of Filipino Culture

The Saturday afternoon parade was a grand moving showcase of Filipino customs and culture along with community (All photos by Karen Datangel).

Last weekend in San Francisco was a busy one with Outside Lands, baseball, and preseason football going on, but there was one other big event that brought more hustle and bustle to the city: The 19th Annual Pistahan Parade and Festival at Yerba Buena Gardens was also the only event where you could hear good music and watch a live sport at the same time, plus find the rare entertainment in watching people eat ice cream and duck eggs. Pistahan—which ran for two days on August 11th and 12th—is the largest street celebration of Filipino culture in San Francisco, and this year’s event broke some new ground as well as kept up with beloved traditions.

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SF Music Matters Asia Brings Top Indie Artists from Asia to Bay Area Audiences

Eem Byung-hak and Kim Naun of Goonam performs at the SF Music Matters Asia showcase at Broadway Studios in San Francisco on March 8 (photo credit: Karen Datangel).

Many indie musicians have already gathered at the world-famous SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, but before heading to the Lone Star State, some of these artists and a few others took their show to the City by the Bay for two nights of unforgettable music mayhem. From sentimental soul and slinky blues to pulsating electronic beats and fist-pumping dance-rock, the East met the West in a duo of shows, delivering something special for every music lover.

As a special preview to the newly branded CAAMFest (Formerly the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival), the inaugural San Francisco Music Matters Asia showcase brought together some of the hottest musical acts from Korea, China, and Taiwan at Broadway Studios on March 7 and 8. This Bay Area stop served as an extension of Music Matters, Asia’s yearly premier music event in Singapore. Partnered with local music promoters from the bands’ countries (DFSB Collective of Korea, Maybe Mars of China, and The Wall of Taiwan), SF Music Matters Asia was not only a rare opportunity for fans to see so many critically-acclaimed Asian artists together, but opened doors for these artists to share their music with a wider international audience.

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Savoring the Night at Plate by Plate San Francisco 2012

A balcony view of the crowd at the 3rd Annual Plate by Plate Tasting Benefit for Project by Project San Francisco. The event took place at the Bently Reserve and marked the 15th anniversary for Project by Project nationally (photo: Nicole Abalde).

Back in July, Audrey told you all about Plate by Plate in Los Angeles and in August, we previewed the annual tasting benefit in San Francisco. The time has come and passed, and this year’s event by the Bay fulfilled its promise of bringing together a terrific crowd to enjoy the company of each other, support the community, and of course, devour plenty of delicious tiny dishes!

The 3rd Annual Plate by Plate Tasting Benefit organized by the San Francisco chapter of Project by Project took place on September 22 at the spacious and gorgeous Bently Reserve near the Embarcadero Center. The evening attracted some hundred of finely dressed attendees to socialize and enjoy three rooms of food samples, desserts, and liquor. Actual RafiqRedstickman, Speakeasy Ray, and Big Sloppy of The Ambient Mafia provided the sounds for the event, and a silent auction for some fun items was also in place.

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Personalities | Flick of the Wrist: Howard Bach

World badminton champion Howard Bach goes for the kill in his last Olympics this summer in London.

ISSUE: Summer 2012

DEPT: Personalities

STORY: Melody Lee

PHOTO: Melly Lee

Growing up, Howard Bach had always been quite the athlete — he ran track, played baseball and soccer — but he eventually decided to stick with badminton. Today, he is a world champion in the sport and is training for his third, and last, Olympics in the badminton men’s doubles event.

At the age of 5, Bach picked up the sport from his father, who used to play back in Vietnam. He moved to an Olympic training center at the age of 16 and has since racked up a long list of accomplishments in the sport. With his partner, Indonesian American Tony Gunawan, Bach made history in 2005 when the pair won the gold medal in the men’s doubles competition at the World Badminton Championships, becoming the first American badminton athletes to ever medal at a World Championship. In 2008, Bach and his doubles partner, Bob Malaythong, made it to the quarterfinalsof the Olympic Games in Beijing, advancing farther in the Olympic sport than any other Americans in history.

Now facing his last Olympics — at 33, he’s married and has a baby boy — Bach is training hard. His regular routine consists of everything from weightlifting to track to on-court training two times a day, five days a week. Bach is hoping to end his badminton career as a full-time athlete with a medal, but regardless, he plans to stay involved in the sport and maybe even raise its profile in the U.S. “America has one of the best athletic pools around the world, yet you see mainly Asians in the U.S. playing badminton,” he says. “That mentality should change. We have a lot of athletes of different ethnic backgrounds who are equally as athletic who would definitely enjoy the game as well.”

Bach credits his family, friends and sponsors for his success. “Being an athlete, it’s not enough to just have the talent; you need to have the environment to make an athlete successful,” he says. “I always mention it as the team behind the team, the support group, and I’ve been pretty blessed to have that support group behind me.”

— Melody Lee

Audrey’s Athletes to Watch | Olivia’s Olympic Picks for the U.S.

Courtesy of nataliecoughlin.com

With the London Olympics a little over a week away, athletes and fans are gearing up for the most prestigious sporting event in the world. This time around, a number of Asian Americans will be representing the United States in various events.

This Olympics, the U.S. has two Asian American swimmers hitting the pool. Natalie Coughlin (she’s a quarter Filipina) and Nathan Adrian (he’s half Chinese) will be competing in London.

Audrey’s Athletes to Watch | Olivia’s Olympic Picks for India

India’s Olympic hopes largely rest on the shoulders of several extremely talented women. These women are not only experts in their field, but they are also trailblazers for women’s athletics in India.

Krishna Poonia

Courtesy of thehindu.com

At 30 years old, Krishna Poonia is looking to capture an Olympic gold medal in the discus throw. She broke out onto the international seen in 2006 and entered the Beijing Olympics as a medal contender but failed to make the finals. The mother of a ten-year-old son, Poonia is looking forward to settling down and spending time with her son after these Olympics. However, Poonia admits that her son is one of her most avid fans. Poonia made history by becoming India’s first female athlete to win the discus throw at a major international tournament history when she won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

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