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Salon Culinaire, more than just a culinary competition
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
“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.

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Chefs Table Gathering for SC2016
By Raynald C Rivera / The Peninsula

DOHA: Salon Culinaire 2016 is set to crown Qatar’s culinary scene’s crème de la crème in an exciting three-day competition at the annual Hospitality Qatar to be held from October 18 to 20 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC).
The Qatar Culinary Professionals (QCP) association is teaming up for the second time with IFP Group, organizers of Hospitality Qatar 2016 for the competition which saw a huge success last year.
“There has been an increase in the number of participants from 235 last year to 260 this year. The competition is open to all culinary professionals whether they work in hotels, restaurants or cafes. Culinary enthusiasts can really expect an exciting competition this year,” QCP Chairman Chef Baran Yucel told The Peninsula yesterday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Chef’s Table which provided a forum for around 100 chefs from various hotels and restaurants in the country to ask questions with regard to the rules prior to the competition.
Among the 17 categories, the most popular which has been attracting the biggest number of participants is Live Cooking.
“Live Cooking is very prestigious and at the same time easy. It does not require much preparations unlike other categories such as showpiece which could take many days to prepare,” said Chef Baran.
Adding to the excitement of Salon Culinaire is a new category which is Qatari Feast.
“This year we included a new category which is Qatari Feast supported by Qatar Tourism Authority. We encourage our colleagues to take part in this new category. We have also invited four Michelin chefs from France who will demonstrate to us cooking by fusing authentic Qatari with international elements to come up with new ideas,” he explained.
Attendees at yesterday’s event have expressed support to in promoting Qatari food through the new category of the competition.
“The reason why Mamig is participating in the Qatari Feast category is in the end we are in Qatar and we have to support Qatari food. I encourage all chefs as well to support Qatari food as our way of supporting the country,” said celebrity Chef Zarmig Halladjian of Mamig.
Salon Culinaire 2016 will also gather luminaries in the culinary world inviting an international panel of judges from World Chefs (formally known as WACS) to determine the winners.
“International judges have been selected across the world, none of whom is based in Doha to ensure impartiality,” said Chef Baran.
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‘Mirchi Night’ promotion at Ramada Encore Doha Hotel
Ramada Encore Doha Hotel has opened its doors to the Indian food lovers. The “Mirchi Night” promotion at the Hub restaurant, serves an open buffet with the best selective delightful Indian dishes for only QR 69 per person from 16:30hrs to 22:30hrs.
Jameel Nabtiti, Cluster Executive Chef of Wyndham Grand Regency Doha and Ramada Encore Doha Hotel said: “Our aim is to entertain and offer an authentic Indian cuisine. “Mirchi” Theme Night is on every Thursday, set in an Indian themed ambiance and elegant atmosphere featuring authentic Indian dishes such as Cashew Pulao, Fish Moilee, Paneer Mutter Masala, Dal Kichdi and many more”. Ramada Encore Doha Hotel encourages all our guests to follow us on our social media channels and stay in touch with all the great promotions we offer,” he added.
Hub restaurant is located on the mezzanine floor of the Hotel. It opens daily for breakfast from 6:30hrs to 11:00hrs, Lunch from 12:30hrs to 15:30hrs and dinner from 19:30hrs to 22:30hrs. Feed your soul at the Hub restaurant, a dynamic gathering place for meeting, eating and lounging. Meet friends and work colleagues for a soft drink while enjoying fresh and innovative world cuisine while catching-up on e-mails and staying connected to the world via the free Wi-Fi.
Ramada Encore Doha Hotel is the perfect location just 13-km from Hamad International Airport and minutes away from cultural and historical sites as well as commercial areas.
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