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Culture Generation

PRESENTS

Taste of Kent
Taste of Community

CULTURAL DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION AND BELONGING

Tour Dates

April 27

Asian Store Guided Tour and Tasting Thailand in Kent 

May 18

Spice Market Tour & Experience Cuisine of Afghan Culture

May 25

Taste the Ancient Traditions of Persian Cuisine.

June 29

Authentic Louisiana Culture and Flavors in Kent

July 27

Food and Culture of Little India: Briyani, Tandoori and Sweets

September 21

Latina Eats: Exploring the Flavors of Venezuela and Mexican Markets

September 28

Malaysian Culinary Masterclass with chef Arokiasamy and Market Tour

Mission

Culture Generation connects, educates, and engages the public in exploring King County’s immigrant and minority communities’ culture through heritage arts programs. Our mission is to ensure food culture continuity, promoting a diverse, inclusive society with a focus on preserving cultural identity for future generations.

I am excited to introduce you to Taste of Kent/Taste of Community, a project I hold close to my heart – which allows me to share with you the immigrant ethnic markets, bakeries, local spice shops and mom and pop restaurants in Kent, Washington.
Christina Arokiasamy
Christina Arokiasamy
Kent, Washington is home to a vibrant and diverse immigrant community. Over a quarter of the city’s population is foreign-born, making Kent the top 10 most diverse cities in the nation. The Asian immigrant community in Kent is particularly large, with residents originating from countries like Vietnam, India, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, and Korea. Kent is also home to immigrants from Afghanistan, Ukraine, Somalia, and Mexico.
When you come on a Taste of Kent culinary tour with me, you will discover new flavors, as many ethnic markets offer up specialty ingredients not usually found in mainstream grocery stores. The markets introduce you to new ingredients and help expand your cooking skills through exposure to different produce, herbs, spices, condiments, and ingredients that inspire creativity in the kitchen! It is community building while making you a diverse cook and a more informed global citizen.
Taste of Kent Taste of Community
Colorful spice shops in Kent that replicate the ones in India. Thai restaurants in Kent dish up Wok Fried Noodles that taste as authentic as the noodle dishes in Bangkok. Sit down to enjoy a bowl of delicious Pho Noodle soup as if you had traveled to Hanoi Vietnam and savor fresh breads and pastries cooked in traditional tandoor made with love by the Afghan community baker.
Whether you are joining a culinary market tour to learn about spices and ingredients or allowing me to take you to dine at an authentic immigrant restaurant through this project – your experience is complimentary! My goal as a world-class chef is to share the diverse immigrant cuisine and cultures with you, often overlooked. Hence, together we may all be more grateful for the love of cultural cuisine handed down through Taste of Kent Taste of Community.

~ Christina Arokiasamy ~

Sign Up Form

July 6th, 2023

July 6th Taste of Kent Tour

On July 6th, a group of food lovers from Washington embarked on the complimentary Taste of Kent, Taste of Community tour, led by world class Chef Arokiasamy. The adventure began at Hong Kong Market, where participants were enthralled by a vibrant array of Southeast Asian produce and ingredients, discovering the secrets to becoming a versatile cook. The tour then touched their hearts with a heartwarming visit to the Tipitaka Burmese Monastery, where they respectfully offered rice and fruits to the Burmese monk.

Continuing the journey, the tour delved into Kent’s rich heritage at the Greater Kent Historical Society, with its 20th-century staged house and the inspiring Snohomish Indians’ Welcome Figure, forging a connection with the region’s past. A leisurely stroll through historic Smith Street followed, with participants admiring restored homes from the Second World War era. The tour ended at Grandma Thai Restaurant, where an authentic plate of Bangkok Pad Thai and refreshing Iced Tea awaited, tantalizing their taste buds.

The culinary journey touched hearts and celebrated diversity, and left participants yearning for more while gaining insight into another culture. Don’t miss the opportunity to join our next tour on September 16th, 2023 – a chance to savor the authentic flavors of immigrant cuisine and experience their rich culture in charming Kent, Washington. 

September 16th, 2023

On September 16th, culinary enthusiasts gathered from across Washington and overseas to embark on an extraordinary journey, the Taste of Kent, Taste of Community tour, led by the renowned Chef Arokiasamy. This remarkable adventure commenced at the Greater Kent Historical Society, also known as the Kent Museum, where participants had the opportunity to explore a meticulously staged 20th-century house and the captivating Snohomish Indians’ Welcome Figure.

Kent Museum

Address: 855 E Smith St, Kent, WA 98030

Phone: (253) 854-4330

The tour then proceeded to the Hong Kong Market, where Chef Arokiasamy enlightened the participants about the vast array of rice, spices, sauces, and vegetables, the fundamental building blocks of an authentic Asian kitchen. The market, unassuming from the outside, revealed a treasure trove of fresh of condiments used in crafting the cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Hong Kong Market

Address: 320 E Meeker St, Kent, WA 98030

Phone: (253) 372-3738

The culminating stop of this captivating journey was the Thai Chili Restaurant, owned by the charismatic Nina Saisombut. Nestled in the heart of downtown Kent, this establishment is a beloved gem. Nina, not only a restaurateur but delights in sharing her heritage with others through traditional dances and music at local festivals. At the long communal table, beneath Chiangmai Umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, participants relished generous plates of Thai Noodles, forged new friendships. The experience left many yearning for another cultural excursion.

Thai Chili Restaurant

Address: 211 1st Ave S, Kent, WA 98032

Phone: (253) 850-5887

Don’t miss the opportunity to join our tours—a chance to savor the authentic flavors of immigrant cuisine, embrace the rich tapestry of our global culinary community, all set in the charming backdrop of Kent, Washington.

November 18th, 2023

On November 18, 2023, The Taste of Kent Community Culinary Tour concluded its annual journey, spotlighting two distinctive establishments: the minority-owned Spice Market, also known as Punjabi Bazaar, and the delightful Afghan Cuisine Restaurant. Tobi, the gracious host at the Afghan Restaurant, treated participants to a remarkable array of authentic dishes. The menu featured delightful items such as creamy Eggplant Borani Banjan, Stuffed Bolani bread with Spiced Potatoes, Lamb Kebobs with pilau rice, Spiced Spinach with Warm Naan, and a cup of Chai with milk—a culinary extravaganza that left a lasting impression. Tobi, alongside other Afghan culinary experts, has been dedicatedly working to reshape the perception of Afghanistan in the West by introducing Afghan cuisine, particularly in Kent, Washington.

Afghan Cuisine

Address: 25684 104th Ave SE, Kent, WA 98030

Phone: (253) 236-4452

The tour also included a visit to Punjab Bazaar, the charming spice shop owned by Jinder. Participants experienced warm hospitality as Jinder enthusiastically shared delightful sweets from his extensive collection of Indian treats. The day unfolded as a captivating journey of spice exploration, shedding light on the historical significance of spices along ancient trade routes connecting the East to the West. It showcased their continued relevance in modern kitchens, where culinary artists skillfully craft flavorful masterpieces.

Punjabi Bazar

Address: 24030 132nd Ave SE A, Kent, WA 98042

Phone: (253) 277-3098

For many attendees, establishments like Punjabi Bazaar, recognized for their cleanliness and organization, hold significant value, meeting the needs of those who incorporate spices into their daily cooking routines. Businesses like Punjabi Bazaar and Afghan Cuisine are pillars of cultural development within the community, providing opportunities for people to travel and explore other cultures. The Taste of Kent will resume new and exciting Culinary Heritage Tours in 2024.

Partnering With

Kent
Taste of Kent Taste of Community

Taste of Kent
Taste of Community

By Artist: Zachary Ziska