By Anand Holla-GULF TIMES
Call it Qatar’s fast-emerging, signature culinary showcase for the real cool chefs. An initiative devised to encourage competition and draw out the finest talents from the culinary scene of Qatar, Salon Culinaire is quite clearly a major highlight of the upcoming Hospitality Qatar 2016 (HQ 2016).
An exhibition for the hotels, restaurants, and cafes (HORECA) and hospitality industry in Qatar, HQ 2016 will be held from October 18 to 20 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) in West Bay.
A premier hospitality-related event in the region, licensed by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), the event features all aspects of the hotel and franchise market in the Gulf region and seeks to provide “both exhibitors and visitors with a unique experience to check the newest products and technologies in the hospitality sector”.
At HQ 2016, Salon Culinaire, co-organised by Qatar Culinary Professionals (QCP), will feature up and coming chefs competing in 17 diverse categories ranging from live cooking and carving to aesthetically beautiful showpieces and static displays — all in front of a live audience as well as a judging panel made up of hospitality and culinary experts.
Afif Baran Yucel, the chairman of QCP and the Head Chef at Sukar Pasha Ottoman Lounge restaurant, told Community, “For the second consecutive time, Salon Culinaire is proudly taking place in DECC. It’s the perfect time for talented chefs to showcase their skills and culinary arts on a professional platform while being watched by international juries. The event aims to contribute to young chef’s career concerning craft work, taste kitchen organisation and culinary award.”
The event has been awaited in culinary circles for the unique opportunity it provides for chefs to offer their creative best in a cheery atmosphere buzzing with everyone from food suppliers to catering companies in attendance. “Once you see who is competing and who is judging, it becomes clear that Salon Culinaire is about more than just prizes; it is about skill – and most importantly, it is about pride,” the QCP says, while elaborating on the competition, “If you think your skill is worth showcasing to an international audience with top-tier judges, then this is your chance. What could be a better stage to showcase your abilities than the action-packed Salon Culinaire?”
The hard-fought culinary clash will, of course, come with rewards. Each category features gold, silver and bronze medals as well as official certificates acknowledging the exemplary showcases put together by contestants, QCP says. “In addition to the competition awards, contestants and winners also compete to win one of many exciting prizes such as knife sets, and flight tickets to destinations across the world among many other prizes,” QCP points out.
QCP, which is affiliated to the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS), aims to unite all talented professional chefs in Qatar and improve networking amongst them and with the fraternity abroad. Interestingly, HQ 2016 is designed to build a strong platform for local, regional, and international HORECA suppliers to meet hospitality professionals from around the region.
The Salon Culinaire competition includes Live Cooking, Fruit & Ice Carving, Barista Competition, Bartenders Flaring Mocktails, Signature Dish, Five Course Set Menu, Bread-making, Novelty Cake, Chocolate Showpiece, Wedding Cake, Hors d’ Oeuvre, and Terrine/Pate, among other things. The event organised by IFP Qatar, QCP and WACS, promises to be as grand an affair as HQ 2016 itself. For more details about the show and registration, you can check out www.hospitalityqatar.com
“Qatar has attracted world-leading chefs and talent over the past few years with an exponential increase of top-tier establishments. These chefs create culinary masterpieces daily, as a reflection of both their skills and passion,” QCP says, explaining the relevance of the signature culinary competition, “The Salon Culinaire gives chefs a platform to hone their skills and showcase their talents while competing in diverse and exciting categories, being evaluated by international judges.
As for HQ 2016, it recognises how the Hospitality industry plays a key role in the process of achieving Qatar National Vision’s (QNV 2030) objectives. “Through the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy 2030, Qatar has adopted a comprehensive approach to addressing sustainability in all aspects of the tourism industry, with a special focus on creating a sustainable hospitality sector in the country,” says a note by organisers of HQ 2016. Last year, around 111 exhibitors from 12 countries participated in HQ 2015.