The country’s longest-running food festival is set to return this 15 March at Hotel Park. In its ninth year, Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) which will run until 25 March, is set to be a grand celebration bringing a rich mix of flavours, cultures & entertainment.
Over the course of the coming 11 days, residents and visitors are invited to sample and enjoy a variety of gastronomic experiences, including a fresh farmers’ market, garden picnics and special festival menus at participating restaurants around Qatar. The Festival will run from 4.00 pm – 12.00 midnight on weekdays (Saturday – Wednesday) and will extend to 1:00 am on weekends (Thursday & Friday).
Rashed AlQurese, Chief Marketing & Promotion Officer at QTA commented, “This year’s edition is not only the culmination of months of preparation but of the years of developing and growing the festival to be a platform that truly celebrates cultural diversity through food. Qatar is now the most open country in the region and QIFF is yet another echo of our message of welcome to the world.” He added, “The collaborative spirit of our private and public sector partners in organising this event is a model for any future tourism-related initiatives we wish to accomplish as part of the Next Chapter of QNTSS 2030.”
QIFF 2018 is organised and delivered by QTA with the support of numerous partners representing the entertainment, hospitality and F&B sectors in Qatar. The Festival’s Strategic Partner is Katara Hospitality, the global hotel owner, developer and operator based in Qatar. The award-winning five-star national carrier, Qatar Airways is the Festival’s official airline. Other partners include Msheireb Museums, Doha Film Institute, beIN, Qatar Culinary Professionals, Askar, Mini Zoo Events, AlRayyan Water, RAW ME, Zomato, Talabat, UBER, Qatar TV, Al Rayyan TV and Olive Radio
To mark the launch of QIFF 2018, an opening ceremony will be held at 6:00pm with one of Hollywood’s favourite chefs, Wolfgang Puck and Qatar’s very own Aisha Al-Tamimi sharing the QIFF Cooking Theater stage for an exchange of culinary insights that span from East to West. Their discussion will be followed by the Theater’s first demonstration by US Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and the event will culminate in a fireworks display above the Doha Corniche.
QIFF Cooking Theatre
The festival’s signature feature, the QIFF Cooking Theatre, returns this year to provide a space for connoisseurs and novices to learn all about how to handle, prepare, cook, present and even photograph food.
With a special theme for each day, it will run live competitions and demonstrations daily from 4:00pm to 10:30 pm. The US’s Christine Ha, Kuwait’s Sulaiman Al Qassar, Philippines’ Luis Rey ‘Niño’ Logarta , India’s Ranveer Barar, Lebanon’s Chef Ramzi, Turkey’s Murat Bozok and Qatar’s very own Aisha Al-Tamimi are among the 14 internationally-renowned chefs who will take to the stage to share their secret ingredients and techniques.
And in celebration of the aromatic coffee bean, there is a new coffee zone offering a truly unique experience. Other special features include a Mini Zoo in the zone dedicated to young children.
Adding to the festive atmosphere at Hotel Park, the main festival stage will host a variety of cultural shows from countries all across the globe. They include Ethiopia, India, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam. And on the second weekend of the festival, Kuwaiti singer Abdulaziz Louis and Lebanese band, Wahdon will take to the QIFF entertainment stage for free live performances on the evenings of 23 and 24 March respectively.
Throughout the festival, there will be live performances by Doha-based hip hop dance troupe, Beats and Bytes as well as Music Vending Machine, The Doha String Quartet & Friends, Doha Jazz and an American music band.
In the evenings, a five-minute fireworks display will light up the sky above the Doha corniche at 8:00 pm. The display will be shortly followed by daily film screenings courtesy of festival partner, Doha Film Institute. The screenings include Made In Qatar Shorts Program, Winnie the Pooh and Finding Nemo on rotation each evening.
Beyond the Festival Grounds
Three of Doha’s five-star restaurants are offering a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to join internationally-acclaimed chefs for an interactive cooking and tasting experience through six QIFF Cooking Classes. The chefs include Food Network’s baking guru Anna Olson, US Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and IDAM’s Doha-based Executive Chef Damien Leroux.
The QIFF Menu, which rolled out earlier this month, will continue to allows residents and visitors to enjoy mouth-watering food groupings of three menu items at a pre-set price of QAR 49 at stand-alone cafes and restaurants; and QAR 99 at hotels.
All images courtesy of QTA
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