The first European Food Festival in Riyadh takes its visitors on a European tour
RIYADH: Riyadh’s first European Food Festival brought unique flavors and experiences to visitors on a culinary journey in Europe in the heart of Saudi Arabia.
Organized by the EU delegation in Riyadh in cooperation with various embassies of EU member states, the Saudi Culinary Arts Commission and the Diplomatic Zone in Riyadh, the festival took place on March 16 and 17.
Jaap Ora, project manager of the EU Embassy in Riyadh, opened the festival. In his speech, Ora expressed his satisfaction with the organization of the event, which brought together many European countries to share their culinary traditions with their Saudi friends.
He spoke of his loyal hotel partners, including the Hilton Hotel, the Radisson Blu Hotel and others, and expressed his gratitude to all partners for their generous support, including the Saudi Arabian Cooks Association, the Culinary Arts Commission, and Mayada Badr and her team. initiative and to bring a Saudi element to the event, namely Saudi coffee.
Ora told Arab News: “The idea for such a festival was born out of the mutual love that Europeans and Saudis share for good food, as well as our desire to show the diversity and quality of European food and share the richness and sophistication of European cuisine. Available in Saudi Arabia.”
The idea of such a festival was born from the mutual love that Europeans and Saudis share for good food and our desire to show the diversity and quality of European food and share the richness and delicacy of European cuisine available in Saudi Arabia.
Jaap OraDeputy head of the EU mission in Saudi Arabia
Countries share their cultures among themselves. Those who come to Saudi Arabia from abroad admire Saudi culinary traditions and hospitality. Tonight we invite you to be travelers visiting Europe and experiencing the richness of European cuisine.”
Countries participating in the festival offered various culinary specialties to the visitors.
Belgium delights visitors with its soft, lightly caramelized Liège waffles. Czech Republic featured the best croutons in Prague from Oh Deer Bakery, while Denmark brought out juice and dried fruit cake. The Netherlands has prepared the children’s favorite Dutch waffles for the festival goers.
French restaurant Chez Bruno offered risotto, pasta and pizza, along with cool lemonade with cucumbers and elderflower syrup known for its medicinal properties, which tastes a bit like lychee.
The festival featured several prominent French bakeries, including La Grenier à Pain, La Vie Claire, Fareen, and Eric Kayser, with croissants filled with frangipane or pistachio cream, savory croissants, madeleins, quiche, pies, meringue and macarons. The Crepe Evi was loved by children as well as adults, who patiently waited, appreciated and enjoyed the festive atmosphere with international colors and scents.
Italy was represented at the Eataly booth from lasagna to cannelloni, from pizza to unrivaled gelato that brought the flavors and colors of Italy to the Kingdom.
Riyadh’s first European Food Festival brought unique flavors and experiences to visitors on a culinary journey in Europe in the heart of Saudi Arabia. The festival, which took place on March 16 and 17, was organized by the European Union delegation in Riyadh in cooperation with the Embassies of EU Member States, the Saudi Culinary Arts Commission and the Diplomatic Region.
Spanish pavilion Azura Tour de Espana appealed to the taste of visitors with its paella. Halal versions of wine and beer also aroused curiosity.
Warm songs and graceful dances heightened the atmosphere of the festival, while a Flamenco group performed to the accompaniment of a lively repertoire of Spanish songs.
Delta Cafe from Portugal offered a variety of dome-shaped lotus cakes. The famous Portuguese music group Al-Manata, formed by Portuguese expatriates who met in Saudi Arabia, also presented a series of Portuguese songs.
Yasser Jad, president of the Saudi Arabian Cooks Association and consultant to the gastronomy hotel industry, told Arab News about the association’s competition, which was held as part of the festival.
“A two-day competition sponsored by Tamimi Market and Qasr Al-Awani. Since the ingredients come from EU countries, there are two categories, one is traditional and modern Saudi cuisine and the other is world cuisine.
“The chef/candidate should offer a starter and a main course. They have one hour to finish and serve their meals.”
He added that a two-person jury will award a score based on predefined criteria they have agreed upon.