The variety of food offerings - a mix of Arab and international cuisines - at the 12th Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) continues to lure thousands of residents and visitors, highlighting the country's diverse and vibrant gastronomic landscape.
The latest edition of the annual festivity, taking place at Al Sa’ad Plaza in Lusail Boulevard, a modern and iconic venue, features more than 80 culinary vendors and several other activations, entertainment and live cooking demonstrations such as the Georgian culinary show.
Georgian chef Georgi Alugishvili, along with Qatari chef Aisha al-Tamimi, prepared authentic Georgian dishes at a recent live demonstration, which was attended by Georgian ambassador Nikoloz Revazishvili, community members and other guests.
Highlighting the history and popularity of Georgian cuisine, the envoy said: "Food plays a very important role in Georgian identity. The foods and flavours of Georgia reflect the country’s geographic setting. For centuries, Georgia served as a stop on East-West trade routes. As traders passed through, the Georgians borrowed and assimilated the flavours and culinary traditions of visitors.
"Georgian cuisine now incorporates flavours and influences from the foods of Mediterranean, Persian and Asian cuisines. With time, each Georgian region has developed its own distinctive contributions to the country’s culinary identity. People traveling from Qatar to Georgia fall in love with Georgian food and, as a result, Georgian cuisine is gaining more and more popularity in Qatar."
He added that two Georgian restaurants opened in Doha recently-- Mosavali at Doha Oasis and Al Terrace at Souq Waqif, both showcasing authentic Georgian cuisine.
According to Revazishvili, traditional Georgian cuisine combines fresh meats, fresh vegetables, herbs and spices into distinctly flavourful dishes that are considered among the healthiest in the world.
He noted that for foreigners, Georgian cuisine is mostly associated with Khachapuri – a cheese-filled bread - or Khinkali – meat-stuffed dumplings.
"However, Georgian gastro culture can offer a wide range of traditional courses. One of them is Chakapuli – lamb stew with fresh greens, also Kharcho - beef stew with walnuts and Georgian spices, along with other traditional dishes. The menus at Georgian restaurants in Doha provide a wide variety of authentic Georgian dishes," he said.
About the event, Revazishvili said QIFF has proven to be one of the most attractive festivals for gastronomy lovers, where international and local cuisines are well presented, giving visitors an array of options to choose from and experience the diverse cuisine.
He stressed that family-friendly entertainment and the chance to meet and learn from the most talented chefs provide a truly captivating experience for all visitors at QIFF.
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