PHOENIX (FOX 10) - The first ever Bao Festival is hitting downtown Phoenix this weekend. The founder of the Arizona Bao Festival, Jason Kwan, says he created it to relive some childhood summer vacation memories.
"When I first started this festival, I did it because I used to love eating bao when I went to San Francisco as a kid for summer vacation," Kwan said. "So, I decided that I wanted to create a festival and see if people are interested in it. At first, I thought nobody knew what the word bao was but surprisingly, a lot of people knew what bao was and [they] really wanted to try new things. So I'm pretty excited for this festival to happen."
In case you don't know what bao are, Jason's got you covered.
"So what bao are, they are steamed buns filled with all sorts of filling," Kwan said. "There could be [anything] from pork to chicken. There's also sweet buns with red bean inside. So, this festival is going to showcase all different types of bao from savory and sweet creations, and also creative interpretations."
One thing you can count on being at the festival: Lots of food. There will be 20 food vendors and Jason says some vendors are making bao for the first time.
"There's some businesses who decided to make bao for the first time and kind of create their own version," Kwan said. "Like someone is making jerk chicken bao, so she actually just does Carribean food, but she's decided to fuse the two and kind of create a jerk chicken bao concept because bai is a Chinese food for example, so a lot of our vendors are creating unique items that, you know, generally they don't have on their menu."
Kwan says they will also be non-food vendors.
"We'll have handmade crafts, we'll have anime, we'll have Chinese art," Kwan said. "So all different kinds of non-food vendors for you to shop [at], and with an Asian theme to it."
Arizona Bao Festival