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Posted On: 26 February 2019 05:07 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:20 pm

QIFF 2019: What to look forward to

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Organisers reveal details of QIFF’s 10th Edition kicking off on 20 March at Qatar Foundation’s Oxygen Park:

  • Cooking Theatre returns with twice the number of international chefs
  • 50 schools across Qatar to participate in healthy food workshops at QNL
  • 15 % of booths dedicated to upcoming local businesses and SMEs

Organisers of Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) revealed more details on the 10th edition of the country’s longest-running multicultural event, held from 20 – 30 March at Oxygen Park in Qatar Foundation’s Education City. This edition marks 10 successful years of paving the way for opportunities in Qatar’s F&B sector while welcoming visitors and residents to enjoy the diverse flavours of the world at the forefront of Qatar’s picturesque venues.

This year’s highlights include over 150 F&B stalls spread over 3 dedicated areas: O1 for main course specialties; O2 for kids-friendly foods and activities; and O3 for cafes and light food along with private seating areas serving curated pre-set menus. Popular features like Cooking Theatre return this edition with around 30 international and local celebrity chefs, in addition to vibrant cultural shows, roaming entertainment, and month-long side events offering learning opportunities of culinary craft and healthy nutrition to participants of all ages.

Rashed AlQurese, from Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) commented, “We are excited to launch this year’s edition of QIFF with the support of our partners and celebrate the success of this decade-long food tradition that continues to attract celebrity chefs, food-lovers, F&B entrepreneurs, and so many members of Qatar’s diverse community.”

“QIFF has played a key role in our strategy to grow and diversify the country’s tourism experiences through vibrant festivals and events. We congratulate all our private sector partners for this success and look forward to continuing to attract people from all corners of the world, as well as residents representing different cultures, to come together and enjoy the intersection of food and culture.”

QIFF 2019’s Strategic Partner is Qatar Foundation (QF), an organisation that supports Qatar on its journey to becoming a diversified and sustainable economy. QF’s iconic Oxygen Park in Education City will offer an impressive venue, layout and format to QIFF visitors this year.

Mohammed A. Fakhroo, Executive Director of Outreach and Institutional Advancement, QF, said: "We are very happy that this successful festival will take place at Oxygen Park, a green space designed for recreation in Education City. In hosting it, we are emphasizing the message that our doors are always open to all members of the community. And we would like to take this opportunity to invite everyone to discover for themselves the inclusive experience that Qatar Foundation offers, enabling them to explore and benefit from the facilities for education and enjoyment that we provide. These facilities are open to the wider community, and to visitors from both within and outside Qatar, not just during this and other festivals and events, but all year round.

"Through this partnership, QF is seeking to enhance its collaboration with, and support for, local initiatives and events. Hosting this event is part of our mission to support community development in Qatar, which is a core mission area of Qatar Foundation. This event directly contributes to supporting and fostering cultural diversity and interaction between people from different backgrounds. And through being hosted in Education City, it is taking place in a diverse, active, unique, and multicultural setting."

Since its inception in 2010 as part of Qatar’s strategy to grow and diversify its tourism offerings in partnership with the private sector, QIFF continues to grow and welcomed over 400,000 visitors last year. Like previous years, this edition will be organised and delivered by QNTC with the support of numerous partners representing the aviation, entertainment, hospitality and F&B sectors in Qatar.

Qatar Airways SVP Marketing and Corporate Communications, Ms. Salam Al Shawa, said: “We are delighted to partner with QIFF on its 10th anniversary, bringing new culinary masters from around the world to Doha to showcase their cultural flavors and culinary art. As the national carrier of the State of Qatar, we are looking forward to bringing the world to Qatar and offer residents and visitors a delicious selection of world cuisine. We could not be more proud to participate in this event bringing our diverse community together.”

Other partners of the festival include, beIN, Vodafone, W Doha, Torba Farmer’s Market, Kidzania Doha, Aura Hospitality, Qatar-India Year of Culture, Akly, La Cantine, Talabat, Uber, Chargello Qatar, Wahab, The Cooking Academy, Qatar TV, and Jeem TV.

Mashal Shahbik, from QNTC commented, “We are delighted to celebrate the decade-long journey of QIFF and the way it has been bringing in limelight, Qatar’s iconic venues and authentic offerings. Over the years, the festival has not only inspired entrepreneurs to introduce innovative restaurants and dishes but also, it has paved way for event organisers to introduce specialised food festivals, making Qatar’s gastronomic canvas more vibrant year after year.”

International Maestros at Live Cooking Theatre

To celebrate its milestone anniversary, QIFF is hosting around 30 international and local celebrity chefs from 14 countries to show their culinary magic in its most popular Live Cooking Theatre. These include: Manal Al Alam, Jameela Al Lanquawi, Tasneem Al Nasrallah, Al Yazi AL Awadh, Morimoto Masaharu, Eric Lanlard, Richard Sandoval, Ranveer Brar, Goila Saranch, Siba Mtongana, Jenny Morris, Salma Souleiman, Wafik Belaid, Sam Çeviköz, Dominique Ansel, Aisha Al Tamimi, Ameena Mussa, Sarra Al Sayed, Hend Salah, Noora Al Mazroui, Noora Al kuwari, Chef Belkhams, Chef Hassan, Stephane Buchholzer, Elif Edes Tapan, Jason Atherton, Francesco Scala, Shane Macneill, and Rusly Ahmed.

Chef’s Table

Select 5-star restaurants across Doha are offering residents and visitors a unique opportunity to join internationally-acclaimed chefs for an interactive cooking and tasting experience through QIFF Chef’s Table. The chefs include Japanese celebrity chef & restaurateur Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Acclaimed US chef Richard Sandoval, Francesco Scala and Shane Macneill from Novikov Doha, Chef Eric Lanlard, Jason Atherton and International Barista Trainer Sam Ceviköz.

Cooking Masterclasses at Chef’s Garden

Aspiring chefs can register to attend Masterclasses with celebrity chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Barista -Sam Çeviköz, Siba Mtongana, Jenny Morris, Salma Souleiman, Wafik Belaid and Jason Atherton at the Chef’s Garden restaurant in the Education City.

Qurated QIFF Menus

Extending the QIFF experience for food lovers beyond the festival’s venue, more than 35 restaurants and cafes will offer special food groupings of a three-course menu of 3 different set at discounted prices of: QR 45, QR 95 and QR 125.

At the Festival, there will be exclusive private booths this year serving pre-set Qurated QIFF Menus for those who like to dine in luxury.

Schools Activation at Qatar National Library

In partnership with Qatar Foundation, QIFF will deliver a healthy food and nutrition awareness programme for students from 50 schools across Qatar from 10-14 March, helping students distinguish between healthy nutrition and unhealthy foods, and understand the benefits and harms of each.

Local Chefs including Ayman Nasser Al-Din, Youssef Oweida, Deldar Hussein, Noora All Mazroui, Sarah Al Sayed, Warda Ibrahim and Coach Noora Al Kuwari will prepare healthy and tasty snacks in front of the students, helping them gain a visual understanding of where food comes from and an appreciation of healthy alternatives to common snacks.

Small and Medium Entrepreneurs

QIFF has successfully contributed in enriching the country’s dining canvas by not only attracting international chefs to open local outlets but also, providing a platform for local entrepreneurs to introduce their innovative offerings including businesses that offer local produce from Qatari farms, offering unique authentic food experiences from gate to plate. To celebrate these experiences, QIFF has dedicated 15% of its spaces to up-coming entrepreneurs and local SMEs.

In and Around Education City

So far, QIFF has been hosted at numerous scenic venues across Qatar including Katara Cultural Village, MIA Park, Hotel Park, and The Pearl-Qatar. This year, residents and visitors from all over the world attending QIFF will get a chance to explore the impressively designed and landscaped Oxygen Park, also referred to as the ‘green lungs of Education City’, as well as other amenities within the premises, including Qatar National Library, the Minaretein building (Education City Mosque), Qur'anic Botanic Garden, and Torba Farmers Market.

Exciting Entertainment

Adding to the festive atmosphere at Oxygen Park, the main festival stage will host a variety of live performances, cultural shows and roaming entertainment running throughout the day. In line with the Qatar-India Year of Culture 2019 theme, the festival will showcase special food and cultural offerings.

Source: Press Release