It’s hard to believe the Qatar International Food Festival is now in its’ 10th year – but here we are again. Running from 20 March until 30 March, it promises to be bigger and better than previous years. Before you head out to indulge and enjoy, here’s Life on the Wedge’s essential guide to making the most of the festival and having a delicious time.
- This year’s festival is at Oxygen Park at Qatar Foundation
Another year, another venue change. In terms of space (13,000 square meters) this seems to be the biggest festival yet. Oxygen Park at Education City is a sprawling location. Parking is located underground and you can enter through gate 2 or 5 and timings are 3pm to 12am weekdays and 3pm to 1am on weekends. The festival activities are located across three spaces – including a stage for the celebrity chefs and a family-friendly area. Food prices will range from QR5 to QR 40. My advice? Do a circuit and then go back to your favorites – also reserve a seat at a table if possible or bring a blanket and go picnic-style.
2. There will be 160 food and beverage stalls this year
Along with some of the city’s best known hotels, there will be dozens of much loved restaurants. Around 15 percent of the space has also been dedicated to up and coming outlets and home businesses – so there will be something for every taste and budget.
3. Speaking of celebrity chefs…
There is a lot of interest in the celebrity chef contingent coming along this year. There are more than 30 visiting Doha for the festival with some holding court of center stage at Oxygen Park. For the beIn celebrities (including chefs Siba and Jenny Morris from South Africa), click here for registration and the schedule. Some luxe restaurants across Doha are offering diners a unique opportunity to join internationally-acclaimed chefs for an interactive cooking and tasting experience through QIFF Chef’s Table. Sessions feature the excellent US chef Richard Sandoval at his Toro Toro Restaurant, Francesco Scala and Shane Macneill at Novikov Doha, Chef Eric Lanlard at Astor Grill and Jason Atherton at Pearl Social Restaurant. There are 12 to 20 seats available per table and the per person cost ranges from QR500 to QR1000. Bookings can be made through the hotels directly.
4. Fans of Torba Farmers Market can visit it every day during the festival
Yasssss! The ever popular Torba Farmer’s Market will be open daily for the duration of the festival in the same location (the Ceremonial Court). This will include their popular farm-to-table concept.
5. If you can’t make it out to the venue, you can still enjoy a taste of the festival.
Restaurants and cafes are offering an exclusive three course QIFF 2019 Menu consisting of a starter, main course and dessert, at discounted prices of QR45, QR95 and QR125. Among these, 35 restaurants are in hotels, 16 inside malls and over 40 are standalone restaurants. Check out a list of participating venues here.
Stay tuned on Thursday for my yearly list of essential eats at this year’s #QIFF2019 and make sure you are following me on Instagram and Facebook for live updates and exclusive offers.