Steaming hot and golden-brown. Round, triangular and square –  dumplings at the Seattle Dumpling Fest came in a variety of forms and shapes! And all of you who claimed that dumplings are the Polish invention are now proven wrong!

I do have the pit passion for dumplings and, probably like most of you, rather rarely do I have a chance to compare a myriad of distinct dumplings culinary traditions!
Yet, sometimes being a dumpling devotee pays off!

My taste buds couldn’t be happier when I was invited to the Second Annual Dumpling Fest hosted by Tom Douglas at the elegant Palace Ballroom! This Sunday answered most of my dumpling cravings!

The greatest dumpling discoveries at Dumpling Fest

The pots were steaming and I felt like the early bird who caught the freshest, most perfected bites! I was one of the first people to walk into Palace Ballroom so, I could still talk to some of the chefs and vendors.

1. The greatest surprises and discoveries of that afternoon were the dumplings served by Staple & Fancy! Gosh does were some good bites! They basically served a plate of mind- blowing nettle agnolotti, crispy rosemary, pine nuts and preserved lemon bathed in warm rosemary butter. I believe that their Italian-inspired food in their restaurant at 2622 NW Market St. in Seattle must be equally as amazing! Chapeau bas!

2. Rocky’s Empanadas brought the authentic taste of Buenos Aires to Seattle! Simple, delicious fillings were a delightful dumpling definition of this Argentina’s favorite street food. The couple, Rocky and Wendy, who are the owners working in the Rocky’s Empanada’s food truck on a daily basis, though they need to bring something more to our Seattle table.

I dived into their vegetarian option and I just can’t wait to find their food truck to get some more full-size empanadas with Onion & Cheese, Spinach & Cheese or Humita (Corn & Bechamel). All these obviously served with Chimichurri dipping sauce! 

As nobody else follows the Argentine practice of selling empanadas in pizza-like boxes they have designed their own empanada box and even brought it to the event. I’m excited about Rocky’s and I’ll definitely order some empanadas for family events!

Rocky's Empanadas at Seattle Dumpling Fest
The taste of mushroom empanadas from Rocky’s Empanadas at Dumpling Fest in Seattle
Rocky's Empanadas at Seattle Dumpling Fest
Wendy from Rocky’s Empanadas at Dumpling Fest

3. Chef Irina Vodonos prepared kreplach – small dumplings filled with ground meat, served in a bowl of hot, homemade broth. This broth smelt insanely good and they had two huge pots of it! I never had kreplach and I really wanted to try it, but being a vegetarian I could only overhear people praising this dish over the bowls of soup

Chef Irina Vodonos Dumpling Fest in Seattle
Chef Irina Vodonos and Max Beery at Dumpling Fest in Seattle

Reliable dumpling classics from the area

I will never grow tired of the dumplings made by Piroshki on 3rd as they are genuine in their flavors and portions. Their pirogy are what Eastern European dumplings should be: simple, well-seasoned, filling and made with love. They are also generous with the sour creme, onions, cheese and fried bacon on the side and you can always count on a cheerful conversation with the stuff. Keep it up, guys!

Piroshki on 3rd at Seattle Dumpling Fest
You can always get a delicious plate of dumplings visiting Piroshki on 3rd. I wrote more about them in Where to eat pierogi in Seattle

Coxinha by Chef Graca Ribero was also something I heard a lot of. Many people were paying them great compliments, but again I could not have a bite myself since ‘coxinha’ is a Brazilian Chicken Croquette. However, I gotta say the smell was really inviting, and I was very close to turning my back on vegetarianism.

Chef Graca Ribero at Dumpling Fest
Dumpling Fest in Seattle Chef Graca Ribero

Who else caught my eye

There was a lot going on and the place got busy very fast so not everybody had time to talk, I’ll show you what else you missed if you weren’t there!

Peopny Kitchen at Dumpling Fest in Seattle
Peopny Kitchen‘s dumplings with meat filling really caught my eye with their presentation
Revel Dumpling Fest in Seattle
The green dumplings prepared by Revel looked pretty amazing!
Baron's Xi'an Kitchen at Dumpling Fest Seattle
Almost personalized orange dumplings with silly faces called “LUCKY PRAWN DUMPLINGS” by Baron’s Xi’an Kitchen

Overall, the event was fantastic! The organizers made sure every detail from decorations and coats collection to the bar line, the raffle, vendor’s tables, and DJ’s music was outstanding! I saw kids and elders, groups of friends, families and single foodies wandering around the tables with a plate and a glass of beer from Lucky Envelope Brewing. Great job! There is just this bashful hit for the chefs to remember about vegetarians too ;)!

See some more of photos from this event on my Facebook profile!