Metro Gets a Taste of Asian Cuisine at Pho King Cook-Off

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The Pho King Cook-Off was held at Val Air Ballroom. (WHO-HD)

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WEST DES MOINES, Iowa  --  The metro is getting a taste of Asian cuisine and culture at the Pho Cook-Off took place on Saturday at Val Air Ballroom.

Pho is a traditional Vietnamese soup with rice noodles, broth, veggies, and meat.

At this year's event, 10 central Iowa chefs are competing for the title of Best Pho. The Iowa Asian Alliance says showcasing its food is helping connect Iowans to the Asian culture.

"Twenty years ago you could barely find pho in Iowa--no one knew what it was. And then fast forward to today, there are, I wanna say, 20 restaurants that serve pho in Des Moines," said Michelle Yoshimura, a board member of the cook-off. "We didn’t know what the response from the community would be. It's been extremely positive. We had a sold out event last year, so this year we expanded to Val Air Ballroom so we had a little more space and we sold out our tickets again with over 500 attendees today."

The chef with the best dish gets bragging rights for next year.

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