Monday 29, February 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: The Dubai Food Festival’s main hub, the Etisalat Beach Canteen begins March with great culinary action with the ‘Queen of the Arabian Kitchen’ chef Manal Al Alem taking to the main stage to conduct live cooking demonstrations from 3:30 pm – 5:00pm.
Other events taking place today (Tuesday 1 March) at the Etisalat Beach Canteen are ‘Sassy on the Sand’ by Sassy Mama where the focus is on mother and child activities; children’s entertainment including BookMunch Café and Bookshop, who will be presenting an after-school activity called ‘Paint the Story’, and a musical evening by Abbo Music, who will perform an infusion of Top 40 Pop hits through the open mic sessions.
On Sunday, 28 February, a Bento Lunch Box live demonstration by Al Islami showed how one could prepare easy meals in a more fun, colourful and innovative way. This event, which was held at the main stage at the Etisalat Beach Canteen was filled with enthusiastic foodies, both young and old, as the teenage Chef Bella showed them how to prepare healthy lunch boxes not only for themselves but also for their children.

Chef Bella used a range of Al Islami products to create two recipes of the Bento Lunch Box. She showed the audience how one could get creative by transforming their lunch boxes using vegetables and fruits in addition to Al Islami products.

The Minion Bento Lunch Box was well received by the children in particular, given the huge popularity of the Minion character. Chef Bella got the children all excited when she created Minions from Al Islami breaded chicken nuggets. She dressed the nugget with seaweed, small balls of cheese and a gourmet pen to make an edible Minion. Along with various fruits, vegetables and rice, the Minions were placed in a lunch box on a bed of lettuce. Children couldn’t help but try the Minions that were freshly prepared by Bella.

The preparation of the second Bento Lunch Box was an interactive one. Children got to choose which vegetable slices would be placed on the kebab stick along with the Al Islami popcorn chicken product. At the end of the preparation, Bella showed a perfect kebab stick filled with colourful capsicum slices, cherry tomatoes, cucumber along with the Al Islami popcorn chicken.

Apart from the creativity involved in the preparation of the lunch boxes, safety and hygiene aspects were stressed. Bella emphasised the importance of having a parent supervising the children and keeping kitchen workstations clean as well as the washing the vegetables thoroughly. At the end of the demonstration, limited edition Al Islami lunch boxes were given away to the children. The audience went away, happy to have learnt the art of making good and healthy food as well as creating art out of food.

The Etisalat Beach Canteen is one of the exciting concepts of this year’s Dubai Food Festival, organised by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).