Gourmets savor the flavor at Riyadh food festival

RIYADH (Arabnews): The Saudi Feast Food Festival in Riyadh, held until Dec. 29, is showcasing authentic cuisines from around the Kingdom.


Organized by the Culinary Arts Authority, the festival also features recreational, cultural and educational activities from all of the Kingdom’s regions.


More than 200 restaurants are serving a range of food and drinks at the event.


Local and international chefs are also demonstrating their skills through the Sofra Competition.


Um Mohammed Al-Taimani from Al-Jouf is proudly showcasing flavors from the northern region.


“We have in Al-Jouf a deep heritage of different foods, such as Al-Samh food, the plate of Tammaj, Al-Malehi, Asidah Al-Samh and citrus tea, which is a tea that is prepared from citrus fruits.


“If you want the best foods, they are with us such as the finest olives and honey products … and I am happy to be in Riyadh to spread our culture,” she said.


The palm and date section at the festival features interactive displays of products from around the Kingdom.


The festival is also welcoming children with a designated area for interactive activities, including a section housing farm animals such as rabbits and sheep.


Badriya Al-Mutairi is a certified trainer taking part in the festival to teach children about traditional crafts such as Al-Sadu weaving, customs and traditions.


“We teach children etiquette, such as kissing the head of an adult and how to pour Arabic coffee, because life is not only about mobile phones and technology but the child must learn Arab customs so that the Arab foundations are not lost. To be honest, I am surprised by some of the children who arrive knowing the traditions and I know that they have a grandfather or grandmother living with them at home,” Al-Mutairi said.


Four workshops were also held at the festival where experts demonstrated innovative cooking methods while mixologists showed beverage-making techniques.


The Saudi Business Center, a government facility that assists the business sector in a number of areas, is taking part in the Saudi Feast Food Festival. It seeks to help cooks turn their passion into economic opportunities.


“We participated in the festival in order to help the investor, and our goal is for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be a leader in the smoothness of government services provided in the business sector. We help the individual start a business and help them with a feasibility study, trade costs, licenses and which entities they should register with,” Abdullah Saleh, director of the Dammam branch of the Saudi Business Center, said.


One of the companies that took part in the festival is 9/10, which helps local families start work in the industry.

“Our participation in the festival is to provide six booths for productive families to sell their products, and we do not take any benefits. Rather, this is an initiative provided by the Human Resources Fund, and we are here in case any productive family would like to participate with us,” Amer Al-Assaf, product manager of 9/10, said.

VIPs with special tickets have access to a special hospitality area that offers dates and a feast prepared by a group of international and local chefs using local ingredients inspired by the cultures of the Kingdom.