The Asian Culinary Forum’s biennial symposium is coming to the Bay Area this September with a series of public events highlighting the crossover of Asian and Latin American cuisines.

[email protected] 2012 celebrates the melding of cultures in modern kitchens. Asian and Latin American cooks are experimenting with atypical ingredients and developing exciting new dishes like Korean tacos, jerk chow mein and sushi-burritos.

“Layered flavors are exciting on our palates, but even more importantly, they reveal important points of connection in the world around us. In past years, we’ve explored pan-Asian exchanges. This year, we’ll delve into what Asian food means across diverse neighborhoods and communities, especially here in California,” says Thy Tran, founder and president of the Asian Culinary Forum. “We pride ourselves on uncovering hidden stories and pushing our audiences to see culture in the making right now.”

Here’s a look at the [email protected] 2012 events:

Chef’s Panel: Sifting Borders, Changing Tastes: Asian & Latin American Food in the Past, Present and Future. Chefs discuss movement, creativity and transformation. Speakers: Isabel Cruz of Isabel’s Cantina, Kara Nielsen of CCD Innovation, and Gil Payumo of Señor Sisig. Monday, September 17, 6pm, Ferry Building, $40

Hot Sauce Competition: Capsica Mania Chile Sauce Cook-off and Tasting. Judges will be crowning Khanquistadors in two categories: fresh and cooked. Guest judges are Christina Aviles from Global Soul Truck, Miguel Escobedo of Papalote, and cookbook author Karen Soloman. Attendees will vote for the People’s Award. Saturday, September 22, 4pm, Women’s Building, $15

Scholar’s Panel, Foodways in Focus: Asian & Latin American Cross-Cultural Cooking. Panelists will share their work on the history and culture of food in Chinese-Mexican, Japanese-Brazilian and Japanese-Colombian communities. Speakers are Lok Siu of UC Berkeley, Karen Tei Yamashita of UC Santa Cruz and artist Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik. Saturdays, October 6-20, 10am, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, $125 for all three classes or $45 each

For more information and to register, visit



Image courtesy of Kechia Ley