Srinagar: The two-day Ethnic Food Craft Festival organized by the Department of Tourism kick started here today with around 50 women participants attending.
The event was inaugurated by Secretary, Tourism, Culture & Youth Services & Sports, Sarmad Hafiz.
Speaking on the occasion, the Tourism Secretary said cuisine, crafts and culture have been intrinsic components of J&K’s tourism which the Department has decided to showcase optimally in coming events. He said the Department would soon organize Dogri and Kashmiri food festivals to promote the concept of food tourism.
Responding to the overwhelming response to the contest, Sarmad Hafiz said it was very heartening to know that even young girls have mastered the craft of ethnic food preparation. He said the Department has decided to provide a platform to such creative women entrepreneurs at the recently inaugurated Kongposh restaurant at Zero Bridge, Srinagar.
The Ethnic Food Festival is being held in collaboration with JKTDC, Handicrafts Department, Institute of Hotel Management, Srinagar and a local FM radio station.
The festival is aimed at popularizing the local ethnic cuisine and foods to give the tourists a feel of local culture and ethos besides keeping alive the fast disappearing recipes. The ethnic varieties in which the competition has been sought include Alae Hachi te Maaz, Bamachunte te Wangan, Handh te Kokur, Runwangun hatche te Chaaman, Nader haakh te Gaade, Fari te Haakh, Hogade Chute and Zombre thool te Gogje aarae.
Earlier, Director Tourism, Kashmir & MD, JKTDC, Nisar Ahmad Wani explained the features and objectives of the festival.
Today the first round of the Ethnic Food Competition was held at the Institute of Hotel Management, Raj Bagh, Srinagar in which around 50 female participants attended. Of the total participants, 16 would be selected by a panel of experts for the final round of a live cooking demonstration of the Ethnic Food preparations on Sunday.
In the evening, a cultural programme was also held at Kong Posh, a Houseboat themed restaurant, at Raj Bagh as part of the festival.
The second and final round of the competition will be held tomorrow at 11 am at IIHM and Kongposh Restaurant, Zero Bridge, Srinagar. It would be followed by a session of showcasing of ethic food, local craft and culture besides distribution of prizes among the winner participants.
Joint Director Tourism, Tabassum Shafat Kamili, other senior officers of the Department, Principal, IIHM, Srinagar, Qazi Shabir, experts from IIHM and professionals from the industry were present on the occasion.