Preparations underway for Asia Pacific New Year celebrations in Tacoma

“At right is cookbook author Eng Tie Ang, who will be signing her books and discussing cooking tips with visitors at the Asia Pacific New Year Celebration Feb. 10. (Contributed photo by Greg Farrar) The Chinese New Year was officially celebrated on Thursday, Jan. 24, but the South Puget Sound’s Third Annual Asia Pacific New Year Celebration at Tacoma Dome Exhibition Hall is just gearing up.The celebrations at the dome, to be held Saturday, Feb 10, will feature performances from the communities of Laos, Vietnam, Japan, China, Thai, Hawaii, Korea, Tahiti, Philippines, Cambodia, New Zealand, Tokelau and India. There will be 14 different Asia and Pacific Islander performances, 10 ethnic cuisine food booths, and dozens of information and retail booths made available to the public. Admission is free from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is the original family festival event for those of the Asia Pacific community to share their customs and traditions with others. The opening festivities will feature a moving Samoa Kava drinking ceremony that is traditional among Samoa High Chiefs to welcome esteemed visitors to their village. Four hundred members of the Samoan community will greet visitors to honor the auspicious day, and the Samoa Kava ceremony will show the strength and diversity of Asia Pacific community. The evening affair will be held at the same location from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. that night. Asia and Pacific Islander bands will perform traditional cultural music along with popular American music for a unique multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-generational event. Bands Blackstone (Vietnamese American), Filimaua (American Samoa), and Signal featuring Filipino recording artist Sonia Ainsworth (Filipino American) will be performing on stage. Admission is a $10 donation. Tickets will be available at the door and day of the event.Pacific Northwest author and cooking instructor, Eng Tie Ang, will be doing a cookbook signing from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.She will sign her the newest cookbook, Delightful Chinese Cooking, as well as her other very popular favorites, Delightful Tofu Cooking, Delightful Vietnamese Cooking, Delightful Thai Cooking, and Delightful Brazilian Cooking. Eng Tie Ang was born in Indonesia of Chinese parents. She grew up and was educated in Brazil and now lives in Seattle, where she teaches a wide variety of cooking classes and is a food consultant. Ang said that with her multi-cultural home and upraising, a number of diverse meals are served for her family’s Chinese New Year celebration.Because my husband’s side is French-Itialian and because I was raised in Brazil and have traveled oversees and taught cooking in Seattle for over 25 years, we do a mixture, she said. From Indonesian and Chinese dishes to Europeon.She makes sure to include a traditional dish with noodles, Because it symbolizes a long life, and finishes the meal with a traditional Chinese dessert called Eight Treasury Rice Pudding. Made with sticky rice, the pudding features dried fruit, black beans, candied lotus seeds and orange peel, and brown and white raisins. It’s steamed, then turned upside down and finished with syrup poured over it.The women spend three to five days in advance preparing for the Chinese New Year’s celebration, she said.At her book signing, Ang will answer any questions visitors have about different styles of cooking. She can also be reached at 206-789-3693 after the event to discuss her upcoming cooking classes, Or to help them find spices. “