The 10th-anniversary edition of Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) concluded on 30 March after 11 days of celebrating foods and cultures of the world. Every day, throngs of foodies and fun-seeking families arrived at Qatar Foundation’s (QF) Oxygen Park to enjoy newer flavours, live entertainment and outdoor fun in Qatar’s beautiful spring weather.
To mark the special edition, this year QIFF hosted 37 international and local celebrity chefs to enthral audiences with their culinary brilliance. This is the largest number of chefs hosted in any one edition. In addition, to live cooking demos and cooking competitions, people sampled mouthwatering F&B offerings at 157 booths, 12 food trucks, and various booths at the Torba Farmers Market within QF’s Education City. Alongside the main festival, QIFF offered monthlong side activities including exclusive Chef’s Table sessions and cooking masterclasses with international chefs, nutrition workshops for school children, and exclusive QIFF Menu listing discounted meals at over 90 popular eateries across the country.
Mashal Shahbik from Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) said, “QIFF has established itself as an annual tradition where visitors consistently experience the best of our country’s food and beverage offerings, scenic locations and wonderful spring weather. We are proud of its legacy of ten years and look forward to seeing it grow further, curating new experiences every year for residents and visitors. QIFF has also become a platform for local businesses to introduce new, innovative offerings to a diverse audience. It has been a delight to see our local chefs demonstrating their talent side by side with the world’s top cooks.”
QIFF 2019 partners
QF collaborated with QIFF this year as its Strategic Partner, hosting the 10th edition in Oxygen Park. The partnership extended beyond the festival’s venue with Qatar National Library hosting QIFF’s healthy nutrition workshops for school children and the Chef’s Garden restaurant in Education City hosting Masterclasses of four international chefs. Torba Farmers Market also extended its weekend timings to operate throughout the duration of the festival.
“QF is proud to have hosted the 10th edition of the Qatar International Food Festival at Education City’s Oxygen Park, and we congratulate the organisers and participants for their efforts in ensuring the success of this event,” Khalifa Essa Al Kubaisi, Media Relations Manager at QF said. “Over the past 11 days, the festival has brought together thousands of visitors from all over Qatar, and beyond, in one place for a wonderful community event, presenting them with an array of cuisines from around the world amid QF’s unique environment.”
Qatar Airways was the Official Airline Partner of QIFF’s 10th Edition, flying in over 20 international chefs to participate in the festival this year as well as offering special discounted fares to selected destinations.
Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Marketing and Corporate Communications, Salam Al Shawa, said,
“Qatar Airways takes great pride in Qatar uniting its diverse community together. The national airline carrier brought in the largest number of chefs from across the globe to the 10th edition of QIFF to showcase an array of new cuisines, while enjoying fun-filled activities and live entertainment. It has been a great experience and we look forward to the next one in 2020.”
QIFF’s partner from last year beIN also joined this year’s edition, holding daily cooking competitions and bringing in International star chefs from Discovery’s Food Network and Fatafeat channel.
Khalid Al Marzooqi, Head of Direct Sales at beIN Media Group, said, “The Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) was a huge success thanks in part to our fruitful partnership with the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC). beIN’s commitment to participate in such events highlights our determination to offer exclusive access to the best in sports and entertainment and provide millions of families across the Middle East & North Africa with the best content from around the world. Involving our famous chefs in the QIFF and having them participate in the different activities highlights beIN’s promise to always provide its viewers the opportunity to get even closer to the content they love.”
Vodafone Qatar, the official telecommunications partner of QIFF 2019 provided free high-speed internet facility to QIFF visitors and organisers through its world-class GigaNet network.
Diego Camberos, Chief Operating Officer at Vodafone Qatar, commented:
“To see thousands of people soaking up the amazing culinary atmosphere then use our GigaNet network to capture and share their experiences was an absolute delight. We’re glad too that QIFFs visitors enjoyed interacting with our Vodafone Red Maze where they were challenged to answer questions on our new Red postpaid plans along with food related questions. We look forward to continue working with QNTC in the future on many more fantastic events.”
QIFF 2019 organised and delivered by QNTC with support from the above festival partners as well as several other partners including: W Doha, Torba Farmers Market, Kidzania Doha, Aura Hospitality, Qatar-India Year of Culture, Akly, La Cantine, Zomato, Talabat, Uber, Chargello Qatar, Wahab, Qatar Cooking Academy, Qatar TV, Oasis Water, DFI, LES, QNB, Infinity, InterContinental Doha, Gymmito0, F45, Strong Box.
Daily live cooking theatre
QIFF 2019 hosted 37 international and local celebrity chefs from 17 countries, to show their culinary magic in its most popular live Cooking Theatre. Among these, eight were Qatari chefs, eight international chefs based in Qatar and 21 international chefs flown in from all over the world by Qatar Airways. Participating chefs were: Masaharu Morimoto, Manal Al Alam, Jameela Al Lanquawi, Tasneem Al Nasrallah, Al Yazi Al Awadh, Eric Lanlard, Richard Sandoval, Ranveer Brar, Goila Saranch, Siba Mtongana, Jenny Morris, Salma Souleiman, Sam Çeviköz, Dominique Ansel, Aisha Al Tamimi, Ameena Mussa, Sarra Al Sayed, Hend Salah, Noora Al Mazroui, Noora Al Kuwari, Mohamed Jassim Belkhams, Chef Hassan, Stephane Buchholzer, Elif Edes Tapan, Jason Atherton, Francesco Scala, Shane Macneill, Rusly Ahmed, Asma Al Bahr, Fawaz Al Amimi, Nabil Asfer, Mohit Kumar Trivedi, Ankit Tiyagi, Luis-Rey Nino, Surjan Singh, Khalid Aboujassoum and Zarmig Haladjian.
Qatar-India Year of Culture 2019
QIFF is a multicultural event and under the Qatar-India Year of Culture theme, it shed a spotlight on Indian cuisine and cultural elements in its program of events. In addition to popular Indian restaurants based in Qatar offering authentic Indian dishes to festival visitors, four renowned celebrity chefs flew in from India to participate in QIFF’s live cooking theatre. Indian classical dance performances were featured in QIFF’s opening ceremony as well as during the festival along with artistic yoga.
There was daily live entertainment throughout the 11 days with performances from the band Marc Hatem and Take 5 and Fijri group, Indian classical dance performances by Rina Jana group, Laser and Smoke show and Artistic Yoga.
beIN returned this year with their daily cooking competition “So you think you can cook” for food hobbyists to show off their culinary talent in front of QIFF audiences.
Kidzania Go offered fun activities like a TV station, Radio Station, 360 Virtual Reality and a RightzKeeper Zone for toddlers in the kidz zone.
Beyond the festival grounds
- QIFF 2019 extended its celebrations beyond the festival grounds allowing visitors and residents to enjoy specially-curated QIFF Menus on offer at over 90 cafes and restaurants participating across the country throughout the month of March.
- In addition, a series of Chef’s Table was held at select five-star hotel restaurants as well as Masterclasses at Education City’s Chef’s Garden restaurant, giving residents and visitors an opportunity to enjoy special live cooking and dining experiences with internationally-acclaimed chefs.
- QIFF, in partnership with QF, engaged school students in healthy nutrition workshops between 10-18 March at Qatar National Library, which is based at Education City, with local Chefs Noora All Mazroui, Sarah Al Sayed, Warda Ibrahim and Coach Noora Al Kuwari, along with participation from Bedaya Centre and Baladna Farms.