The night markets of Asia come to life at the Boulevard Pool in The Cosmopolitan during the Luckyrice Festival October 4. The food event brings together the tastes of Asia—from traditional street fare to modern interpretations—and features chefs including Jon Matsubara (Japengo, Hawaii), Andy Yang (Rhong Tiam, NYC), Bank Atcharawan (Chada Thai, Las Vegas), Ben Spungin (Rose.Rabbit.Lie.), Pichet Ong (NYC) and many more.
This is the third year that The Cosmopolitan has hosted Luckyrice, which also holds editions in New York, L.A., San Francisco and Miami. The food festival was founded five years ago in New York City by Danielle Chang, who wanted to bring the cultures of Asia to life through its diverse flavors. From Taiwan to Thailand to the Philippines, there are endless options for the adventurous gastronome.
This year, Chang says she’s seeing a movement toward Asian fusion. “I think Asian cuisine earned an undeserved bad rep for so-called ‘Asian fusion cuisine’ in the 1980s, and there was a backlash to eat ‘authentic.’ I never understood what that meant because authentic cuisine does not necessarily equate quality. In many cases, fusion is authentic, as cultures migrate and cuisines reflect that fusion over time,” Chang says.
With so many cultures represented at the tasting event, pay attention to Hawaiian cuisine from top chef Jon Matsubara, who says fresh fish is a must, “especially the smoked Hawaiian Kampachi with umeboshi. [And] any type of poke is always killer with local beers.”
Chang couldn’t agree more. “I’m personally looking forward to trying Jon’s smoked salmon, nashi pear, Japanese pickled plum, nori burrata, salmon crisp and opal shiso. I think we’re rethinking what Hawaiian cuisine is all about.”
A big component of Luckyrice is the mixology program. Bombay Sapphire East creates handcrafted cocktails that pair well with the dishes served at the event. This year’s signature cocktail is the “Year of the Horse,” made with Bombay Sapphire East and infused with Thai lemongrass and Vietnamese black peppercorns.
Saturday, October 4 at the Boulevard Pool in The Cosmopolitan. Tickets start at $88 for general admission and $150 for VIP. Doors open at 7 p.m.