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JEDDAH: The four-day Seafood Festival in Jeddah was a hit with residents visiting ROSHN Waterfront to sample a range of seafood delicacies, from appetizers and soups to main courses.
Several restaurants and food truck owners participated in the festival, organized by the Saudi Culinary Arts Commission and held from August 23-26.
The festival aims to redefine the taste of seafood by presenting a wide range of products. It also provides a platform for local fish vendors and restaurateurs to capitalize on growing community support.
Mayada Badr, CEO of the Culinary Arts Commission, said: “This is the first festival of its kind to educate Saudis and non-Saudis alike about our seafood culture and help them understand seafood products and techniques. tackle that fishermen used when catching. Fish. In an effort to promote seafood heritage, we brought together different seafood vendors who sold shrimp, squid and different kinds of fish freshly caught from the Red Sea.
“We also had a cart selling home fries and balila (a tangy dish of chickpeas and pickles) as part of encouraging traditional Saudi cuisine. Since in Saudi Arabia we eat a lot of meat and chicken, we wanted to bring people back to the sea because there is a beautiful Red Sea which is part of our heritage and produces loads of amazing fish. One of the goals is also to encourage people to buy from fishmongers, for which we had fresh fish stalls where people could buy, and if they want delivery services, we even collaborated with Jahez.
Badr said this is just the beginning, as organizers plan to raise seafood awareness throughout the festival. “In the future, we will be doing much bigger events for people to enjoy,” she said.
Azim Ghurab, Owner of Damdam Fish Stall, said, “In our stall, we offered a full menu focused on preparing fresh seafood of the visitor’s choice, where we provided a fresh catch fried in our homemade marinade recipes and served with different sauces of ingredients. so that customers can enjoy them at their leisure, to take away or on site.
“We are grateful to the Ministry of Culture and the Culinary Arts Commission for providing us with this platform,” he said. “We hope to receive more such opportunities and participate in similar events which will play a decisive role in the brand image of our seafood dishes made with special ingredients and also contribute to creating a positive image in attracting new customers.
First-time attendee, C-Box restaurant partner Omar Hazim served dynamite shrimp and premium fries at his stall. “The freshness of the prawns and the sauces used in the marinade made our booth unique among the others at the festival.”
Serving local and nominally priced exotic seafood varieties, Bakarat Seafood Cusine restaurant has found a golden opportunity to sell its diverse cuisine; visitors could taste fried and grilled fish, shrimp, squid or crab, as well as sushi in sauce.
Khalil Osta, Reham Osta and Reem Osta, founders of the Osta Sandwich restaurant in Jeddah, attended the festival to explore business opportunities while showcasing their best fish and shrimp dishes to guests and assessing the city’s food capabilities.
In addition to food stall operators offering live cooking, attendees included fish vendors and seafood spice vendors who were keen to share their knowledge, in addition to selling their wares to visitors and connecting with restaurant industry people for business collaboration. They see this festival as an opportunity to develop business strategies.
The festival included attractions for the whole family, with a day of shows, food and demonstrations. A special area for children has been organized as well as an arts and crafts section.