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A friendly dumpling duel to celebrate Lunar New Year

Nina Simonds (left), an award-winning author of Asian cookbooks, and Nicole Liu (right), owner of VESTER cafes, will participate in a dumpling demonstration and duel on Jan. 28 at the Chinese New Year Celebration at The Foundry, a community space in Kendall Square.VESTER

Dumplings, so the Chinese believe, bring you prosperity for the Lunar New Year, which falls on Sunday, Jan. 22. Their shape resembles ancient Chinese coins and is considered a lucky food for the holiday. On Saturday, Jan. 28, starting at noon, The Foundry, a community space in Kendall Square, will host a Chinese New Year celebration with the Cambridge Chinese American Association. Among the fun events planned — Chinese zodiac readings, a panel discussion with East Asian expert and author Zhuging Li, a lion dance, and more — is a friendly dumpling duel between Nicole Liu, chef and owner of the Danish-inspired VESTER cafes, and Nina Simonds, award-winning author of Asian cookbooks. For years, Liu’s family ran Sally Ling’s, one of Boston’s first fine-dining Chinese restaurants. She now runs three VESTER locations, and one that recently opened at The Foundry. Liu and Simonds will face off while demonstrating how to prepare the wrappers and various folding techniques, such as the half-moon and the pleat. Once they are steamed or pan-fried, the judging commences. Several culinary notables, such as Xiaoda Lin, a chef who worked at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Shanghai, as well as the audience will sample each and select the winner. The event is free, although registration is required for the dumpling demonstration and the book panel. 101 Rogers St., Cambridge, 857-998-2063. For the schedule of events and to register, go to



Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at