The presence of Torba Farmers Market at the Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) 2018 is helping raise public awareness on the importance of eating ‘clean and healthy food’ – prepared or cooked using locally-grown fresh produce.
Festival-goers can select from a variety of organic and pesticide-free vegetables at the Market’s stall, located at QIFF’s Coffee Zone. The 11-day culinary event will run until March 25 at the Hotel Park.
“We buy a lot of fresh produce that we know are cheaper but full of chemicals. At Torba Farmers Market, we only offer healthy, nutritious local products,” Market co-ordinator Dennis D Albino told Gulf Times.
He stressed that their participation at QIFF is mainly to promote such concept, which ensures consumers ‘clean, safe and nutritious’ foods from home-based businesses, up and coming entrepreneurs, and other members of the Qatar’s startup community.
“We call this ‘Farm-to-Table’. Basically, the vegetables we have here, we bring it to the kitchen and prepare it so people know where their food comes from,” Albino said.
“We just started recently but our kitchen is very busy now, good response from the people and it has the potential. But we want to grow it gradually,” he noted.
Started in November last year in Education City, he noted that the Market is attracting an increasing number of partners as well.
‘Farm-to-Table’ offers two main courses – lamb and chicken – at the festival, and these livestock s are also locally-grown, according to Albino.
“Lamb is delicious and popular to many Arabs,” he said, adding that the stall also serves salads and other dishes, cooked and prepared by chef Stefan Marais.
While citing the Market’s increasing popularity in Doha, he pointed out that such concept is no longer new especially among westerners.
“We give our customers an array of choices apart from vegetables and fruits. We offer sell gluten-free and other organic products such as home-made cakes and coffee, among others,” he added.
Albino said the Market also offer ‘Artisan food,’ healthy and specially-made products by partners such as sugar free and organic bread and juices.
“We cannot do it alone that is why we are encouraging others to join us,” he said.
“We have been visited by a number of government authorities and they are supporting us.”
Besides the Market, the ninth edition of QIFF also brings back its Health Zone, which encourages conscious eating habits and life choices that promote overall well-being.
The Zone offers free fitness classes throughout the festival, giving festival-goers to be active while enjoying the outdoor festivities at the venue.
QIFF 2018 also expanded the children’s area, featuring a mini zoo and a venue for sports, as well as other creative activities courtesy of Cafe Ceramique.
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