07 Mar 2018 – 10:11

By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula

Doha: Fresh from the recently concluded 90th Oscars, Michelin Star chef Wolfgang Puck (pictured) is coming to Doha to take part in the upcoming ninth annual Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) which kicks off on Thursday next week.

The celebrity chef, who has been preparing post-Oscar dinner for the last 24 years, will be featuring on the first two days of the festival at the QIFF Live Cooking Theatre – the centrepiece and one of the most anticipated features of the festival, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has announced.

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On Sunday, Puck marked his 24th year of preparing sumptuous dinner for the Governor’s Ball which hosted around 1,500 of the biggest names in Hollywood including this year’s Oscar winners.

As a long-standing feature at QIFF, a slew of world-renowned chefs have already graced the Live Cooking Theatre including global lifestyle personality Martha Stewart, Australian MasterChef Judge George Calombaris, Food Network’s Andy Bates and Graham Elliot among others. They have shared to food connoisseurs and novices their flair in preparing a variety of cuisines from all over the the world.

This year’s long lineup of celebrity chefs will bring to the table their wealth of experience and varied cultures during the 11-day festival as they take to the Live Cooking Theatre preparing and cooking their culinary masterpieces.

The QIFF 2018 Live Cooking Theatre will feature Qatari chef and food programme presenter Aisha Al Tamimi, Indian celebrity chef Ajay Chopra, Food Network pastry chef Anna Olson, Kuwaiti celebrity chef Asmaa Al Bahar, the first blind contestant in US MasterChef and 2012 winner Christine Ha, IDAM Executive Chef Damien Leroux, Kuwaiti Cook Fawaz Al Omaim, Turkish celebrity chef Murat Bozok, Filipino celebrity TV chef Nino Logarta, Lebanese celebrity chef Ramzi Choueiri, Kuwaiti celebrity TV chef Sulaiman Al Qassar and US Iron Chef Masharu Morimoto.

The Live Cooking Theatre will run daily food photography sessions and contests from 4pm to 6pm from 6pm to 10.30pm, guest chefs will share their tips and tricks with a special food theme for each day.

In addition, select 5-star restaurants will be offering cooking classes providing residents and visitors unique opportunity to join internationally-acclaimed chefs for an interactive cooking and tasting experience. They include IDAM Executive Chef Damien Leroux at IDAM at Museum of Islamic Art, US Iron Chef Masharu Morimoto at Mondrian Hotel and , Food Network pastry chef Anna Olson at Sheraton Doha.

To be held from March 15 to 25 at the Hotel Park, QIFF 2018 brings culinary and cultural experiences from all corners of the globe through 177 food stalls, food trucks and trolleys, extending over the full 80,000sqm of the park grounds.

The longest-running food festival, this year’s edition has a number of new features such as a mini-zoo, a dedicated coffee zone and free fitness classes in addition to exciting daily live performances and cultural shows and breathtaking fireworks display.