A Foodie Feast

If you live to eat, then this will be right up your street! The inaugural Abu Dhabi Food Festival takes place from February 5 to 21, with a huge roster of local dining venues, global culinary brands, and famous faces from the world of food showing off their creative kitchen talents through hundreds of delicious dishes…

Kicking off the fare-filled extravaganza will be the region’s first Street Feast, with a line of caravans, including international and local food trucks, serving up excellent world cuisines, to foodies across the capital.

Ten international traders will be coming all the way from the UK, especially for this event. They’ll be joined by numerous Emirati street food vendors, who will be representing the best of this exciting new food movement, serving a diverse range of dishes that reflect Abu Dhabi’s cosmopolitan nature.

Among the vendors from the UK will be ATE Street Food, rolling into town with Apollo, their lovely vintage Citroen H Van, and a truckload of flavour! They specialise in slow-cooked meat, and their mini brioche sliders are a must-eat.

Then there’s Pizza Pilgrims, brothers Thom and James Elliot, who went to Naples to learn the art of pizza-making, only to return and achieve the street food dream of bricks and mortar, and, also successfully open two restaurants in London. The duo’s cooking is heavily inspired by the classic Neapolitan pizza and we love it! For cheese-enthusiasts, it’s all about the bright yellow Cheese Truck – a 1973 Bedford CF van – whose sole purpose is making the most incredible and oozing grilled cheese sandwiches. If you want to savour something a little meatier, The Roadery will cater with British ‘Head to tail’ food from the hatch of a beautiful 1979 Renault Estafette van. Tuck into creative cuts of forgotten meats like low and slow cooked beef cheek Braco’s (British taco) and try a Halloumi Braco with Earl grey panna cotta for dessert.

The Donostia Social Club is another vendor serving up food that is inspired by the Basque Country, out of a modified Citroen H Van, fully kitted out and set up as a proper mobile tapas bar. Go along, pull up a stool and perch on the bar to savour some of the best examples of authentic Basque food.

Alongside these, there’s Indians Next Door offering lamb raan curries in a naan wrap; Churros Bros, bringing freshly cooked, to order traditional Spanish Churros served with Valor hot chocolate; Big Apple Hot Dogs, a champion of the street food movement, responsible for first bringing serious quality, tasty hot dogs to Old Street in East London; Arabica Southern Fried Chicken, with renowned chef James Walters offering a fusion dish based on Southern Buttermilk fried chicken, twisted with flavours of the Middle East; and Yogusensi with its freshly squeezed fruit bar.

Emirati vans will include SALT, the UAE’s first burger truck; Jones the Grocer, with its popular local and international menu; and Desert Chill, for all the ice cream lovers out there.

The Street Feast weekends make up three courses of the Abu Dhabi Food Festival, which will also incorporate the annual Gourmet Abu Dhabi event, running from February 11 to 20, and the new addition dubbed Emirati Kitchen, being held from February 5 to 7.

As well as the mouthwatering fare, entertainment will come from visiting international chefs, sharing their culinary skills, alongside a live music stage featuring contemporary and traditional Emirati artists. Street Feast on Abu Dhabi Corniche will also attempt to set a new world record by creating the world’s longest shawarma. The current record is set at 42.6 metres, but Fatafeat chef, Andrew Mitchell, plans to smash that by creating a shawarma 100-metres-long with the help of 300 volunteers. We can’t wait to see that!

GO: Street Feast will run over three successive weekends and take place in Madinat Zayed on February 5 to 7; at Al Mubazzarah Park, Al Ain from February 12 to 14;, and along the Abu Dhabi Corniche from February 19 to 21.

Visit www.abudhabifoodfest.ae for more information on the festival.