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Discovering Qatar

QIFF Opening Brings Together Food & Culture Lovers

The 8th Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) opened yesterday, offering lovers of food and culture the ultimate setting to come together for a celebration of the country’s increasingly diverse food and beverage offering at the Hotel Park.

Festival-goers are spoilt for options with a variety of signature dining experiences including Dinner in the Sky, Garden Picnics and High-Tea/Fine Dining. Those wishing to learn from the world’s top chefs are invited to the QIFF Cooking Theatre which runs live demonstrations daily from 4 pm to 9:30 pm. Food Network’s Andy Bates and Graham Elliot are among the celebrity chefs who will take to the stage to share their secret ingredients and techniques.

Mashal Shahbik, QTA Festival and Tourism Events Director

Mashal Shahbik, Director of Festivals and Tourism Events commented:

The QIFF Cooking Theatre is a long-standing feature of the Festival and we are excited to bring it back this year with a slew of world-renowned chefs. The variety of cuisines, skills and techniques they bring offers something for everyone. It is truly a space for connoisseurs and novices alike to learn all about how to handle, prepare, cook, present and even photograph food.’

Elliot, who is one of the most recognised cooks in America today, will take to the Cooking Theatre stage twice on the first weekend of QIFF: on Friday, 31 March at 8 pm and again on Saturday, 1 April at 7 pm. Elliot expressed his excitement for QIFF saying:

It is my first time visiting Qatar and I am extremely excited to interact with the amazing people and show them some of the things that I do.  More importantly, I can’t wait to try some incredible food at QIFF – especially some of the signature Qatari dishes that I haven’t experienced before, such as Mathrooba – and learn about the country’s food, culture and history.’

Andy Bates

Later in the week, Bates, a champion of British food and family-style cooking is set to take to the stage for three consecutive days. Fans can catch him presenting live on Monday, 3 April at 9 pm then on Tuesday, 4 April at 8 pm and finally on Wednesday, 5 April at 9 pm.

Bates who is also coming to Qatar for the first time, is keeping his two recipes at the Cooking Theatre a surprise. Dropping some hints, he said:

The first recipe is a British classic made the ‘proper’ way and I’ll also give tips on how to prepare ahead. The second recipe is going to be an explosion of flavours and colours that represents the culinary world of Miami where I now live. Can’t wait to see you! Come and say hello!’

The QIFF Cooking Theatre will also feature chefs from neighbouring countries such as Kuwaiti Cook, Fawaz Al Omaim and Queen of the Arabian Kitchen, Chef Manal Al Alem. Adding a dash of oriental spice, Indian celebrity Chef, Sanjeev Kapoor will also appear on the Theatre.

Beyond the festival grounds

The 11-day festival which runs until Saturday, 8 April extends its celebrations beyond the festival grounds allowing visitors and residents to enjoy specially-curated QIFF Menus on offer at their favourite cafes and restaurants participating across the country. In addition, a series of Chef’s Table events are being held at select five-star hotel restaurants, giving residents and visitors an opportunity to enjoy special live cooking and dining experiences with internationally-acclaimed chefs.

Easy Access

Festival organisers have partnered with UBER to provide QIFF-goers with affordable options to reach the Hotel Park. Throughout the festival, registered users can use the promocode QIFF2017 to receive a 20% discount for trips to the festival grounds. Additionally, first-time users of the application will receive up to a QAR 40 off on their first trip to the festival.

Hotel Park also carries four levels of underground parking with over 2,500 spaces that makes the venue easily accessible for thousands of visitors to enjoy the festival with ease and comfort.

Check out Marhaba Guide to QIFF 2017  for more information.

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