East End Dispatch: Multi-Culti Nite in Sag Harbor (aka, the Immigrant Food Fest No One Knows)

School food: Compostable tableware displayed the Kalaidescopic offerings at Multi-Culti night at the Sag Harbor Elementary School.

I missed the annual Multi-Culti night at the Sag Harbor Elementary School last week, and in doing so I missed my only chance–between here and Queens–of eating authentic food from distant lands like Ethiopia (injera and wat), Korea (kimchi pancakes), China (dumplings), Mexico (tamales), Turkey (baklava), Thailand (pad thai), and a few dozen other locales, all dished up by locals in garb from their native lands.

While we don’t always think of the East End for its food diversity, the two year old Multi-Culti has emerged as one of the best food festivals on the East End. And did you know admission was just $1?

“I’m in awe of all that transpired last Friday night at the second annual Multi-Cultural Festival, arranged by a small but devoted committee of parents at Sag Harbor Elementary and lead by the force of nature that is Cheryl Bedini,” wrote Edible East End photo editor (and Sag Harbor parent) Lindsay Morris at her blog. Bedini, who is co-owner and co-roaster at Java Nation in Sag Harbor (profiled in our East End coffee roaster roundup), conceived of the event not just as a celebration of the unknown cultural diversity in the school district, but also as a fundraiser, which this year raised nearly $1000 for the school, as well as $1000 more for earthquake relief in Japan. “The food was endless and ranged from Ethiopian and St. Lucian to Turkish and Japanese, not to mention the entertainment which included yodeling, Mexican dancers, Irish step and Samba to name a few.”

Attendees received passports that were stamped as they visited different tables. It was, Morris wrote, “a virtual UN of cuisine open to the public. All proceeds will go to Heifer International’s Haiti project. If you missed it this year catch it next March. This is an event surely to become a Sag Harbor tradition.”

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Brian is the editor at large of Edible East End, Edible Long Island, Edible Manhattan and Edible Brooklyn. He writes from his home in Sag Harbor, New York, where he and his family tend a home garden and oysters. He is also obsessed with ducks, donuts and dumplings.