Local News

Feeding the senses

March 3- March 9, 2021

Gulf Weekly Mai Al Khatib-Camille
By Mai Al Khatib-Camille

Gulf Weekly Feeding the senses

One of the kingdom’s colourfully, flavourful festivals is set to enthral food and art lovers with a series of presentations and workshops aimed at nourishing and feeding the soul, as well as highlighting heritage sites.

Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (Baca) Food is Culture returns for its sixth consecutive year, starting Saturday, to bridge the culinary arts with other creative mediums and breathe new life into the island’s cultural sites.

An array of chefs and artists have teamed up in this experimental project to offer tasty treats in an artistic atmosphere.

“Food is Culture was always one of the most innovative festivals hosted by the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, and this year we are taking greater strides with this experimentation,” said Farah Mohamad Mattar, Baca’s director culture and arts of the Culture and Arts Directorate.

“While continuing to collaborate with creative and talented participants, unlike previous years, Food is Culture will be hosted over the duration of a month with each pair presenting their collaborations weekly at different cultural locations in Bahrain, adding an exquisite spatial dimension to these unique interdisciplinary dialogues. 

“We continue to push the envelope and contrast the new and exciting against the important backdrop of our history and heritage.”

The chefs lined up for this year’s presentations include Chef Irvin Martinez, dessert maestro Abdullah Bindayna, healthy eats Tabea Lutz, sourdough baker Layal Dana, as well as culinary artists and bakers Lara Al Abbasi and Maria Knowles.

The artists that will be showcasing original artworks and sounds while chefs dish out scrumptious servings include celebrated multimedia artist Ghada Khunji, psychedelic pop band Do You Really Like It?, the two rising fine artists Salman Najem and May Hejiri, and eco-conscious fashion designer Amal Rafie.

Spectators will be able to interactively engage with the topics that each chef and artist duo will explore on their presentation day and every showcase will be featured at a different cultural location such as the Bahrain National Museum, the Pearling Path Visitors Centre, Al Jasra Handicraft Centre, Riffa Fort and the Archaeologies of Green Pavilion.

“The aim is to showcase these exquisite cultural sites and breathe new life into them by allowing these locations to become the centre of such an experimental project,” added Farah.

Aside from weekly presentations, the entire process will be documented in the form of an e-book and documentary. In addition, there are a number of activities and events coinciding with the festival including a local learning platform offering a range of cooking workshops and food tours in Muharraq and Manama conducted by one of Bahrain’s most prominent food bloggers, Zainab Akbar.

Zainab started her local food tours last year and they were a great success. She and her husband also started a ‘Be in Bahrain’ Instagram account where they share pictures of their tours around Bahrain.

Her aim is for people to ‘Be in Bahrain’ too, experience the beauty of it and, of course, eat like locals.

All these events require registration. The first will be a food tour through the old and new city of Muharraq on March 13 and the second is a tour of Manama’s souq on March 19.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s events will be limited to 30 audience members and everyone must register and pay a fee of BD5 to make sure they actually show up and not take someone’s spot.

For details, follow @culturebah on Instagram and visit www.culture.gov.bh to register.

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