Celebrated virtually this year, the 26th Annual Chandler Multicultural Festival features lively performances, cooking demonstrations and art from around the world.
By embracing cultural diversity events and collaboration efforts in Chandler, we can learn to interact with others, build bridges to trust, respect, appreciate and understand all who live, work, and play in our city.
AZ Rhythm Connections
Frank is a professional drum circle facilitator and motivational speaker. He is the founder of the Arizona Rhythm Connection (AZRC) and has been facilitating rhythm for more than 25 years. He is probably one of the few six-sigma certified hand drummers and his background has given him a special gift and insight for creating exciting team building and interactive experiences. He has been the facilitator of the Chandler Library Drum Circle since 2018.
Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli
Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli-AZ celebrates the colorful tradition of Mexican folkloric dance. Led by an experienced dancer, Vanessa Ramirez, the group began as a recreational class. As one of very few East Valley Folklorico groups in operation, interest in the dance troupe has grown exponentially. Students range in age from four years old to adult and enjoy an exciting and fun way to express themselves through dance and learn about Hispanic heritage.
This performance includes appearances from Herencia Mexicana and Ballet Folklorico Esto es Mexico.
ERA is a K-pop (Korean Pop) dance group lead by Miranda Manley. This style of dance is influenced by music and dance genres from around the world and has roots in traditional Korean music. Miranda has been teaching open level K-pop classes for people of all ages and levels.
Stilicho plays traditional Irish songs that have been passed down through the generations: songs sung in rousing choruses at the pub and in quiet circles around the hearth. Our songs are born from the heart of Ireland, telling stories of battles waged and loves lost, of whiskey and the sea and the Emerald Isle, of rebel-heroes and days of old.
Chantal’s Vietnamese Beef Pho
2 medium yellow onions and 2 daikons
About two 4 inch piece of raw ginger
Beef soup bones 4-5 lbs (marrow or knuckle bones; also you can do chicken broth)
6 whole cloves
One cinnamon stick
In a 10-quart pot add beef soup bones and fill 3/4 with tap water, cover and cook on high heat.
When it comes to a boil, turn to low heat and let simmer with the lid off.
Skim the residue off the top with a ladle (do this throughout cooking and prepping until broth is clear).
Simmer on low heat for 1-2 hours then remove and discard the beef bones.
After it simmers for 1-2 hours and the broth is clear, use cheesecloth and tie up star anise, whole cloves, and cinnamon stick and add to the broth
2 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1 ounce (1-inch chunk) yellow rock sugar
Char ¼ of an onion and the ginger and add to the broth, and then add 4” chunk daikons
**Sauté 1/4 cup of paper-thin white onions and put in broth. (The aroma of this will make your broth taste so good). Taste broth to see if you have enough seasons, if bland add more salt, fish sauce and rock sugar.
As the broth is cooking, prep noodles and beef.
1/2-2 pounds small (1/8-inch wide) dried rice stick (cook per package directions) or get fresh banh pho noodles. Fresh noodles need to be blanched in boiling water for 1 minute and rinsed quickly with water to get rid of excess gluten residue.
Easiest is to get pre-sliced raw eye of round, sirloin, London broil or tri-tip steak (3-4 lbs). My favorite is the eye of round steak. If not pre-sliced, you can do it yourself with a sharp knife, so you get a thin slice about 3-4” long.
Garnishes placed on a separate plate
1 medium yellow onion, sliced paper-thin
4-6 scallions, green part only, cut into thin rings.
Chopped cilantro leaves
Red hot chiles
Thinly sliced Lime wedges
Sriracha HOT Chili Sauce
Place cooked noodles in individual serving bowls.
Placed thinly sliced beef on top of noodles.
Ladle very hot broth into the bowl, this will cook the beef as you serve.
Add garnishes, add a little of the sauce and enjoy!
Saffron Rose Pistachio Cake
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
Pinch baking soda
1 cup sugar
¾ cup milk
¼ cup butter
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp almond essence
1 tsp green cardamom powder
1 cup fresh whipping cream
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp rose water
1 tsp saffron strands
1 tbsp hot milk
- Mix the flour, baking soda and powder and set aside.
- Heat the milk and butter till the temperature is just above what you would be comfortable touching.
- Let the butter melt. Add the saffron strands, cardamom & vanilla.
- In a bowl beat or whisk together the eggs and sugar till the mixture turns pale and sugar is well incorporated.
- Add the milk mixture to the egg mixture slowly. Make sure the milk is not too hot or boiling as it would curdle the eggs.
- Add in the flour mixture and continue beating on low till well incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the cake tin.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees or till the skewer comes out clean.
- Let cool.
Instructions for the Saffron Frosting
- Add the saffron strands in 1 tbsp of hot milk and let sit.
- Whip the fresh cream with the icing sugar until stiff.
- Add the milk which should have the lovely yellow saffron color now to the cream.
- Add the rose water.
- Beat once and frost cake.
- Decorate with saffron, pistachios and dry edible rose petals.
Yield: 2 one-pound loaves
1 C. water, warmed
1/3 C. oil
¼ C. honey
4 C. bread flour
2 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. instant yeast (*If using active dry, use 1 tsp. See note below.)
In a mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients.
Add dry ingredients. (*If using active dry yeast, activate by warming 2 T of the water and allow to bloom. Add with other wet ingredients.)
Mix with the dough hook on low speed for 3 minutes until all dry is combined, then on medium/high speed for another 7 minutes. The dough should be shiny and smooth. If using the next day, place in an oiled bowl, cover and chill. Otherwise, place in an oiled bowl, cover and ferment at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Fold the dough: wet hands, scoop, lift and stretch one side of the dough toward the center, then the other on top of that. Do the same for the other two sides, then flip the dough in the bowl. Alternatively, wet hands, scoop from the center and lift, allowing the dough to stretch and come together in the air. Then flop the dough over into a loose ball. The idea is to stretch the gluten strands, creating strength and a tighter dough. Ferment another 30 minutes.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat lightly into a rectangular shape. Cut into 4 portions and pre-shape the strands for the braids: place rectangle lengthwise in front of you and de-gas by gently patting.
Using pinky edges of hands, gather the top of the rectangle toward you, press into the dough and gently away, to tighten. Repeat, which closes the piece of dough into a tube.
Press seam closed with the heel of your hand and repeat with remaining dough portions. Allow these to rest for 20 minutes, then roll out to the length needed for braiding.
Braid and place loaves on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Proof in a warm, moist environment. When loaves are jiggly and airy, bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Chef Melinda is with the East Valley Jewish Community Center.
In 1995, the Friends of the Chandler Public Library established the Chandler Multicultural Festival to bring the community together for a fun-filled day of art, music, and dance while also learning a little more about the rich cultural diversity that exists in our community. The festival has grown into a signature event for the City and offers a quality arts experience in the comfortable setting of the downtown Chandler Public Library.
The Multicultural Festival is a part of the Celebration of Unity annual events held each January to honor our community's heritage and diversity, along with the spirit and ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the civil rights movement.