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5 things to look forward to at AlUla’s first-ever food festival

Flavours of AlUla is about all things food…

Do you know what’s better than blabbering about food? Yeap, eating. So, get ready for a journey that will fill your nose with a myriad of flavours from around the world and have your taste buds raving at AlUla’s first-ever food festival.

Flavours of AlUla

Running till Saturday January 14, Flavours of AlUla is part of the Winter at Tantora events, showcasing traditional local and regional cuisine and ingredients through a range of experiential masterclasses with renowned chefs, food stalls and fun activations that will make for a truly multisensory experience.

Eating aside, the immersive culinary journey is about all things food. Food lovers will have the opportunity to attend one-of-a-kind masterclasses with world-renowned chefs, enjoy a variety of flavours at innovative food stalls, test your palate with sensory activities, and so much more.

Here’s what to look forward to as Flavours of AlUla gets into full swing.

Masterclasses and workshops by acclaimed chefs

Flavours of AlUla workshops

A series of nine masterclasses and workshops is available each week during the festival, which will be hosted in the Master Arena, an area designed for knowledge sharing. This includes collaborations among Saudi chefs, such as Areej Al-Shareef, who appeared in the Master Chef show; Samira Sadiq, who’ll be opening a restaurant in Riyadh; pastry chef Ghofran Alromaihy, and Arwa Ali, a talented head chef and trainer.

Budding chefs and foodies can learn a range of new skills, such as using the local organic superfood in the “Benefits of Moringa” sessions, a plant packed with iron, calcium and antioxidants. Other classes include sushi rolling, fruit decoration and food as art, with workshops catering for all age groups.

Participants can also learn time-saving, life-changing kitchen hacks. Whether learning more about citrus and moringa or trying your hand at making sushi, these masterclasses and workshops are ready to dive deep into AlUla’s budding culinary scene. The complete list of masterclasses from the different chefs can be found here.

Sensory experiences

Guess the Smell

Eating is a powerful sensory experience, one of the most multisensory activities we as humans engage in multiple times per day. Our enjoyment of food and flavour are all formulated in our minds based on what we see, smell, taste, feel and hear, and Flavours of AlUla has designed multiple experiences to test the senses.

Take part in a ‘Black Box’ experience – a blindfold test to challenge your perceptions of the food you’re tasting, or a ‘Guess the Smell’ experiment, where participants will walk along a path lined with mystery boxes, each filled with a distinct scent to put your sense of smell to the test.

An assortment of delicious delights

Flavours of AlUla

As part of the event, Flavours of AlUla will be serving up festival-exclusive dishes. The diverse and rich variety of AlUla produce will also be showcased in different ways, with ingredients used in Arabic and Asian-inspired dishes. From AlUla-inspired bubble tea flavours, colourful dumplings and vegan rice rolls to organic bowls, juicy hotdogs, cheesy rainbow sandwiches, and unique ice cream featuring AlUla oranges and dates, foodies can explore and satisfy their gastronomic curiosities.

There’s something for the kids, too

Flavours of AlUla kids entertainment

Flavours of AlUla is a family-friendly event, and children will be entertained in a recreational area. Kids can learn the art of dried fruit decoration or literally play with their food with some exciting games, including edible tic tac toe and checkers using fruits and vegetables.

Various kids’ workshops are also available for those interested in participating. From being introduced to kitchen tools and learning how to control ingredients to making fun banana sushi, cookie monsters, honey lollipops, and silly smiley sandwiches, these classes will allow the young chefs to master some great techniques while also learning that the kitchen can be a fun place.

Interactive activities

The Legacy Tree

The festival will play host to lots of other activities and traditional games to take part in. One of the key draws is the legacy tree, where visitors can share their unique family recipes by writing and hanging them on the tree branches. Plus, Flavours of AlUla is free to walk around and explore. The food stalls and some activities will use a voucher system, which can be purchased directly at the venue.

Flavours of AlUla, until Jan 14, AlUla Oasis (in the area in front of Circolo and Meraki Artisan), daily 4pm to midnight. @alulamoments

Images: Provided