The future for Qatari chefs is indeed, bright, a senior hotelier has observed, in the background of the Chefs of Qatar Virtual Food Festival 2021, which kicked off on April 1 and runs until May 12.
The event is organised by the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) in collaboration with talabat and Qatar Airways.
“This wonderful melting pot of cuisines from across the region and millennia provides opportunity for both tried and tested dishes as well as the generation of completely new flavour profiles,” Park Hyatt Doha’s sales and marketing director Shane Douglas told Gulf Times.
Park Hyatt Doha, one of the participating hotels at Chefs of Qatar Virtual Food Festival 2021, is collaborating with chef Noor al-Mazroei, a renowned Qatari chef who specialises in healthy food, Qatari food, and international cuisine.
She has worked with multiple restaurants and five-star chefs like Vineet and Morimoto to present the finest delicacies.
Douglas said many Qatari chefs are extremely well-travelled and respected, picking up new flavours and bringing them home to reinterpret and introduce new flavours for a local palate.
“Chef Noor is one such example, not to mention with what she is doing in the field of plant-based nutrition by creating dishes that are not only delicious but healthy as well.
"Her mission to give back to the community by educating people on how to eat healthily is commendable.
“There is a lot of scope for other like-minded local chefs to add value to Qatar’s culinary future.
"It’s an exciting time for Qatari chefs right now with the eyes of the world about to descend upon Qatar for the FIFA World Cup 2022,” he said.
The hotel’s partnership with chef Noor, Douglas added, “hit the right note” from the first day of the festival, establishing “a common understanding and built a framework to achieve our objectives.”
“Both sides listened to the other with fact-based opinions and a firm eye on delivering the best possible product to our target audience.
"I have an example. We were taste-testing when chef Noor noted that the cardamom notes in the cake were possibly too strong – did we even need it?
“Her thinking? Many people would be drinking tea with cardamom already, so the flavour would be lost on the palate – therefore why include it at all? It was subsequently removed.
"Just one example of many in the process of the cake’s development, where every aspect was considered,” Douglas said.
About the hotel’s preparation in the lead up to the FIFA World Cup 2022, he pointed out that their goal is “to ensure that a strong sense of place is embedded in the experience, so that our guests leave feeling culturally-enriched.”
“For us, that means finessing touch points throughout the guest journey that contribute to that sense of place, whether that’s through our F&B, spa and wellness or rooms experience.
“The World Cup will be here before we know it, so resourcing plans are well underway to manage the expected city-wide compression,” Douglas said.