Southeast Asian street food first hit it big in the U.S. a few years ago, and it shows no signs of ebbing: A second outpost of Fatty Crab, Zak Pelaccio's take on Malaysian street food, opened a few days ago in Manhattan's Upper West Side, and Num Pang, Ratha Chau's Cambodian sandwich shop, is set to debut this spring.
While all these new restaurants excite me, what I'm grateful for is the two-year-old Streets International, a nonprofit organization that helps disadvantaged youth in Southeast Asia by giving them culinary training and employment. Helping out with the cause are some of NYC's top chefs, who'll be cooking their own takes on street food from around the world tomorrow at the organization's annual fundraising benefit at the Astor Center ($150 per person; streetsinternational.org).
Some highlights of chefs who'll be at the event and what they'll serve:
Floyd Cardoz, Tabla: Chicken Tikka Frankie
Gabe Thompson, Dell'anima and L'Artusi: Tripe Sliders
Kenny Callaghan, Blue Smoke: Shrimp Corndogs with Avocado Lime Dip
Michael Bao Huynh, Bar Bao and Baoguette: Sloppy Bao and Short Ribs on a Lemongrass Stick
Pichet Ong, P*ONG and Batch: Marinated Pork Skewers with Peanut Sabayon