During the Des Moines Food Truck Throwdown, we really got to see how much fellow Des Moines residents LOVE their food events. It was shoulder to shoulder to enjoy food from local food trucks. Now, you can expect the same kind of excitement at the next food event that is being held at the Des Moines Social Club.
Des Moines folks are flocking to the first annual Pho King Cook-Off. This event was sold out within a couple of days. The best part of it, there was no marketing involved. A simple Facebook event was created and it went viral.
There are now people begging for tickets to the event. So, if you bought tickets and can’t make it, there is someone out there begging for your tickets! 🙂 Let them know in the Facebook event.
side note: Want to host a food event, hold it at the Des Moines Social Club. So far it has been a great spot for first-year events. 😉
What Is Pho?
First of all, let’s get the pronunciation down. Pho is pronounced as “fuh”. The word “pho” refers specifically to the noodles but most commonly, people refer to pho as the whole dish.
Pho is a comfort dish that came from Vietnam. It’s a noodle soup dish that can take hours and days to cook. Typically, the basic composition includes broth, rice noodles and herbs. From there, there are varieties that can include chicken, beef, vegetables, meatballs, tofu or other varieties.
There are certain basics that you can count on but really, there are limitless variations.
The Pho King Competition
11am to 12pm — Pho King Judges’ Award, Celebrity Judging – Viewing open ONLY to VIP Ticket Holders
12pm to 3pm — Pho King People’s Choice Award – Open to ALL Ticket Holders
All-you-can-eat Pho Tasting
Pho Eating Contest
Cash Bar and Music
2pm to 3pm — Pho King Awards Announcement
The Pho King Competition Competitors
There are 8 competitors this year.
1. Chef Lau Huynh – Lucky Bamboo
“You may know Lucky Bamboo for our unbeatable taste, quality, service and price for Chinese food in Ankeny, Iowa. But did you know…we got you covered for PHO too! Similar to our Chinese food where every single order is made fresh with quality ingredients, our PHO is a labor of love as well. If you have a discerning palate and appreciate authentic pho we’ll save a seat for you. Because we prefer you eat in…pho is best served fresh and hot. Thank you Iowa Asian Alliance for the Pho King opportunity – we love pho and want everyone to love it just as much!”
2. Private Chef Daniel McDonald
“My name is Daniel, my mom is Vietnamese and my father American. I love Vietnamese cuisine and have been cooking in the restaurant industry for almost 2 decades. I thought the Pho King contest would be fun so here I am!”
3. Chef Suen Harrison – Maht’s Catering
“Hello! My name is Suen Harrison. I simply love to cook, eat, drink and entertain like Anthony Bourdain. I have a start up catering business called Maht’s Catering (translates to Mom’s in the Cambodian language). As cliché as it sounds, I named my business after my Mom because that’s where I inherited my talent from. I enjoy hosting exclusive tastings because I get a more up close and personal setting with my guests. I’ve entered this contest for the pho-un of it and to help support the Iowa Asian Alliance. We, Des Moines, Iowa are an up and coming food city. I’d like us to be one of the top cities travelers come to and indulge in phenomenal food! Wish me luck! Bon Appetite!”
4. Chef Fawn Soulinthavong – Fawn’s
“We are known for our ox-tail pho. A favorite amongst our pho lovers. We are excited to be a part of the first ever Pho King Cook-off and hope our ox-tail pho will be the winner!”
5. Chef Kim Nguyen – Pho All Seasons
“My love of cooking started with my mom. When she had her restaurant I helped and learned everything I could. I’m proud to have my own business now and my mom is helping me. We pride ourselves in being a local favorite and have loyal customers from when my mom was in business. We are excited for the Pho King Cook-off and can’t imagine not being a part of it. Thank you Iowa Asian Alliance for having this fun great event to showcase this signature dish.”
6. Chef Pat Chat – Heavenly Pho Food Truck
“Heavenly Pho originated from the Chan’s family secret recipe from three generations. Our grandparents migrated from China to Laos in the early 1900s. They settled in the town of SAVANH and opened a Pho Noodle Restaurant there, because it is so good the customers from across the country started calling it the Heavenly Pho or in Laotian Pho Savanh. The word Savanh means Heaven in Laos and since it is so good and its made in the town of Savanh customers would referred to it as Heavenly Pho or Pho Savanh.”
7. Chef Poody Simahano – Happy Sushi
“Hello! I’m chef Poody and have been cooking all my life. I love all Asian cuisine and while my speciality is sushi, the Pho King Cook-Off was the perfect opportunity for me to share my love of pho too. I’m in for the fun of it! Thanks for your support.”
8. Chef Don Contran – Pho 515
“Located in C-Fresh Market we are thrilled to bring you the best of Asian Vietnamese cuisine. Our goal is to give you consistent home quality cooking when dining out. We are excited for the Pho King Cook-Off – it is important for us to give back and support our community while doing our share to help promote culture and diversity. Thank you.”
This info and quotes were taken from Iowa Asian Alliance.