Beirut is still as vibrant as ever with its many exhibitions and festivals and it has once again welcomed the Beirut Cooking Festival and Salon du Chocolat to its heart. Held at Seaside Arena from 8-10 November, this year’s events are a true celebration of the best tastes and latest culinary trends, with the participation of over 40 chefs, experts and professionals who will be sharing their passion for food, beverage and lifestyle with more than 15,000 visitors over the course of three days.

Inaugurated on Thursday 8 November under the patronage of HE Minister of Tourism Avedis Guidanian, the eighth edition of the Beirut Cooking Festival and fifth edition of the Salon du Chocolat Beirut celebrate the nation’s rich gastronomy and bring focus to Beirut, a city recently named as the world’s best food destination.

Visitors to the Beirut Cooking Festival can look forward to exploring a variety of cuisines and new products from more than 100 exhibitors. They can also learn how to prepare Lebanese and international dishes from the top chefs during almost 30 demonstrations at the Chefs’ Theater and browse a wide selection of cookbooks at the Librairie Gourmande.

New this year is the table setting where five boutiques will be presenting the latest trends in Christmas tableware, and the organic pavilion, gathering the top producers of organic items, including olive oil. There will also be a wine boutique area offering visitors the chance to sample organic Lebanese wine.

In parallel, Salon du Chocolat Beirut features 60 stands showcasing the latest in the world of chocolate, confectionery and pastry as well hosting a number of exciting events. One of the main events is the fashion show, which brings together Lebanese designers and famous pastry chefs for two chocolate-fueled runway performances. A total of 13 creations will be showcased and will remain on display during the remainder of the event. Designer to the stars Karoline Lang has teamed-up with Lebanese master consultant chef Charles Azar to create the star dress.

Elsewhere, the Choco Demo provides visitors with the chance to meet 20 leading pastry chefs and learn how to create tasty desserts. Furthermore, children can get involved at Salon du Chocolat Junior: an area where they can experiment with chocolate and enjoy activities such as cookie decorating.

Other events include a chocolate sculpture competition with the participation of more than 10 students from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-arts (Alba) who will be competing to create the most exciting chocolate sculpture from a single block of chocolate. The theme of the competition will be carnival, with the final pieces on display.
And also Bûche Competition and cake design competitions highlighting the skills of non-professionals housewives. Visitors will also have the chance to discover the giant Chocolate Angel made of more than 200 kilos of chocolate created by Rami Boutros, Bluemz Catering.

Joumana Dammous, managing director of Hospitality Services - organizer of Beirut Cooking Festival and Salon du Chocolat Beirut, stated, “We are delighted to host these annual events and celebrate amazing flavors, great taste and the latest trends.” She added, “Food lies at the heart of Lebanese culture and is something that we are immensely proud of. Our nation’s rich cuisine is admired the world over and these two events reinforce the capital as an international food hot spot.”