It is that time of the year again! It is when the whole country comes to a halt in front of food. It is food that rules and experiences that are unmatched. It is a multicultural festival that celebrates the country’s diverse food and hospitality offerings. It is the 8th Qatar International Food Festival. It is the #QIFF2017.
I was privileged to be invited by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) to the opening of the 8th QIFF. This year the venue is the new Hotel Park, which is much smaller compared to the MIA park where it was held last year. To my surprise everything was planned and executed so well. The parking crisis which people experienced in the previous years are no more a threat as Hotel Park can house almost 2500 vehicles in the four storied underground parking. The festival runs from March 29th to April 8th 2017.
To begin with, it is completely colorful and offers so many activities. It can be described as a culinary experience that I am sure will be loved by all.
From food stalls to high teas and fine dining, from live cooking theatres to healthy zones, from food trucks to dinner in the sky, there is so much awaiting you at the Hotel Park.
One of the biggest attraction is the Live Cooking Theatre that features world-renowned chefs. Remember we had Martha Stewart last year?! This year it is two of the most famous chefs in UK and America; Food network’s Andy Bates and Graham Elliot. Elliot will take the stage on Friday, 31st March at 8:00pm and Saturday, 1st April at 7:00pm. Andy Bates, a champion of British food and family style cooking is set to take the stage on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 9:00pm, 8:00pm and 9:00pm on the respective days.
The Queen of Arabian Kitchen, Chef Manal Al Alem and Kuwaiti Chef, Fawaz Al Omaim is set to visit QIFF2017 and feature live cooking. For an oriental heat, Chef Sanjeev Kapoor will also appear at the Theatre.
This year, QIFF is celebrated beyond the festival grounds with a preset QIFF menu at selected restaurants and hotels. In addition, a series of Chef’s Table events are being held at selected five-star hotel restaurants giving visitors an opportunity to enjoy live cooking and dining with internationaly-acclaimed chefs.
Dinner in the Sky
Do you love heights? I was not sure if I would enjoy or be terrified of dining in the open air at fifty metres above the ground. Four Seasons Doha is bringing back the most glamorous attraction of the festival, the ‘Dinner in the Sky‘ this year. It was Qatar Airways who operated this luxurious fine dining up in the air last year and I must say I liked the lounge of the previous year. But the food served up in the sky is prepared by the renowned chefs of Four Seasons and it couldn’t be better this time around!
As we geared for take off to experience what dining in the sky would look like, I was a bit scared at first when I looked below but soon the adrenaline pumped in and I was enjoying every bit of the view from up above. It was beautiful to see the Doha skyline, Sheraton, Nobu, the festival ground and the sea. I would going for the 5:00pm onward sessions as it was hot at 4:00pm when we went. I really want to go back and actually dine in there. To book your tickets for ‘Dinner in the Sky’, visit this link.
View from the top
Chef Jabor, who is an artisanal bistro at Arnag.qa, a restaurant in Souq Wakrah that serves delicious desserts and burgers featured ‘Steak with Béarnaise sauce and potatoes’. Find Arnag.qa on Instagram and the Chef’s mouth-watering creations here.
QIFF2017 is open to visitors from 2:00pm – 10:00pm on weekdays and from 2:00pm – 11:00pm on weekends. Make sure to visit the most anticipated food event of the year and enjoy the special culinary experiences. There are loads of entertainment activities and movie screenings everyday. To know more log on to qifoodfestival.qa or visit their Facebook page.