- Chefs’ Arena will see 30 of the world’s most famous culinary talents – including Marco Pierre White, Enrico Bartolini, and Francesco Guaracino – face off for honours next week in Riyadh
- Chefs’ Arena will host a range of activities, including workshops where experts and Michelin Star chefs teach cooking techniques, plating skills, and provide insider tips
- Saudi Arabia's leading food delivery platform, Jahez International Company joins as Official Partner and Chefs’ Arena Sponsor
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia | October 25, 2023: Thirty of the world’s top culinary talents, including a number of Michelin Star chefs, will face off for honours as part of a Chefs’ Arena event being staged at InFlavour, the Saudi government-backed global F&B trade show set to run at Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Centre, Malham, from October 29-31.
The regional and international lineup of talent includes, among others, Tala Bashmi, the Bahraini chef and restaurateur; Varun Inamdar, the Indian chef whose YouTube show boasts a viewership in excess of 220 million; Jordanian food artist Omar Sartawi; and Italy’s Enrico Bartolini, the only chef in the history of the Michelin Guide to have been awarded four stars simultaneously.
Another of Italy’s top chefs Francesco Guarracino, who won the Italian Federation of Chefs’ award for ‘Best Chef Under 40’, will also take part, alongside Ian Pengelly, the British masterchef and guru of Pan-Asian cuisine; TV chef, Yasser Jad, President Saudi Arabian Chefs Association; Ghassan Sukkar, the Saudi chef whose YouTube cooking programme has garnered more than a million views; Egyptian TV chef Manal El Alem; and Marco Pierre White, ‘The Godfather of Modern Cooking’.
“This is guaranteed to be a captivating competition of the very highest quality,” said Annabelle Mander, Senior Vice President of Tahaluf, the Informa business entity that is organising InFlavour with the support of the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture. “It will be a culinary showdown with masterful gastronomic performances and will serve to inspire future talent. For anyone involved with the F&B industry or aspiring to enter it, the Chefs’ Arena is the place to be. It will be a celebration of the industry now and of the future.”
Chef Yasser Jad is full of enthusiasm for the challenge, believing it will motivate InFlavour’s professional visitors to explore their culinary creativity and reach new heights. “This is an exceptional lineup that will have a highly competitive edge,” he said. “The skills on display will, I hope, encourage emerging future talent to embrace our profession and help build Saudi Arabia’s reputation as a global culinary destination in the making.”
Michelin Star record breaker Bartolini, added: “It is always exciting when I get to come to the Middle East and showcase the latest and most exciting things happening in Italian fine dining. As well as showcasing some of my Michelin-starred dishes, I am also looking forward to telling the story of my journey as an entrepreneur, and hopefully inspiring some of the emerging talents that will no doubt attend the event later this month.”
In addition to the competition among professional chefs, the Chefs’ Arena will also host culinary contests for amateur cooks and aspiring chefs, giving them an opportunity to gain recognition for their skills and talent.
The Chefs’ Arena is expected to be an entertainment-rich zone with live music and a range of activities, including hands-on culinary workshops led by expert chefs where participants can learn cooking techniques, plating skills, and get insider tips from the culinary masters. There will be ‘Chef Spotlights’ where chefs or culinary teams will highlight their culinary journeys, inspirations, and achievements with opportunities for audience engagement and Q&A sessions. The Arena will also feature innovation showcases where cutting-edge kitchen equipment, culinary gadgets, and food technology are displayed, and pop-up restaurants where renowned chefs will curate unique dining experiences.
'We are excited to announce our status as “Official Partner” with InFlavour and sponsorship of the very first edition of the Chefs' Arena. With so many incredible culinary powerhouses coming to Riyadh next week, we can't wait to see what new techniques and cuisines are happening both locally and internationally,' said a Jahez International Company spokesperson.
'As one of Saudi Arabia's leading food delivery platforms, we are also looking forward to seeing what new technologies will be showcased at InFlavour, and how potential new partnerships can help us grow our reach and further increase our platform experience.'
Meanwhile, more than 200 prominent local and global investors and venture capitalists will gather at InFlavour’s Investor Programme to unearth new funding opportunities and explore the trends and innovations driving a healthier and more sustainable food investment ecosystem. Meanwhile, a FIVE STAR PITCH FEST will see the industry’s best and brightest startups compete for prizes. InFlavour will also feature roundtables where leading independent promotion agencies will discuss African food security and the future of foodtech investments in the MENA region.
The inaugural InFlavour arrives on the Kingdom’s calendar amid an unprecedented food industry transformation in Saudi Arabia. Huge investments are being made in hotels and resorts in a bid to spur an influx of food and beverage entrepreneurs, as well as develop a segment-wide appetite for the adoption of advanced technology.
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