Thousands flock to Emirati Kitchen at Abu Dhabi Food Festival

ABU DHABI, 9th February, 2015 (WAM) — The inaugural Abu Dhabi Food Festival got off to a sizzling start at the weekend with thousands more visitors than expected flocking to Abu Dhabi’s Corniche to enjoy the local culture, cuisine, demonstrations and master classes at the Emirati Kitchen event.

The three-day celebration of Emirati food, starring local and international chefs, attracted more than 14,000 visitors, vastly exceeding the expectations of organisers.

The weekend also saw Street Feast, another event incorporated into the Abu Dhabi Food Festival, delight food fans in Madinat Zayed in Al Gharbia, the Western Region. A caravan of international and local food trucks served a wide array of dishes from around the world to more than a thousand visitors and is now on its way to Al Jahili Park in Al Ain this weekend, before heading to Abu Dhabi Corniche from the 19th to 21st February.

Emirati celebrity chef, Khulood Atiq, a cuisine consultant for Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi, which is organising the festival, said, “This is the first time that we have held the Emirati Kitchen and it was very well received with an excellent turn out. I had people from as far away as Brazil and New Zealand attending the master classes and trying Emirati cuisine for the first time.

“It is important that we demonstrate and show people our customs and traditions and that food is a vital part our culture. I really hope people go home and learn to cook traditional Emirati dishes and enjoy the diversity of our food. Next year we will be back and making it even bigger and better.” Next week sees the return of Gourmet Abu Dhabi, a 10-day celebration of food taking place across some of Abu Dhabi’s best hotels and restaurants, which is also part of the food festival.

“It is important for overseas visitors to have the opportunity to learn more about the traditions of Arabian hospitality, and there is no better means than by hands-on experiences such as this, which bring many aspects together,” said Briton, Simon Baker, a first time visitor to the Emirate.

“Cooking a traditional dish under the guidance of a local chef in one of the Emirati Kitchen master class sessions has given me a taste of what else I can look forward to when eating out across the emirate during my stay.”