With Cairo Bites set to take over Family Park in New Cairo on the 17th and 18th of April, the second edition of Egypt’s biggest annual food festival is already shaping up to be bigger, better and tastier than before.
Having eaten our way through the culinary carnival last year, we’re naturally very, incredibly, giddily excited at the prospect of two days of all things food and drink. Sharing in our unbridled childlike excitement is Sara Abdallah, one of this year’s Cairo Bites team, who we sat down with to talk to find out more about 2015’s edition of Cairo Bites.
Looking back at Cairo Bites 2014, how do you rate the success of the event?
The event was great; we had a good turnout from both the public and restaurants – but this year we’re planning to make it even better!
I’m getting goosebumps? Can hunger give you goosebumps? Anyway, what did the Cairo Bites team learn from last year’s event?
Well, we learnt that, if there was ever any doubt about it, Egyptians not only love, but they really cherish food!
Highlights from last year’s Cairo Bites.
Amen to that. How did the original idea come about in the first place?
Egyptians don’t only love food, but we’re a very curious nation; we saw an opportunity to combine these two. With Cairo Bites, we want people to share in their love for food and try to fulfill their curiosities and sense of culinary adventure. There’s nothing more of in any neighbourhood in Egypt than restaurants and cafes so how can we not celebrate and champion that?
So what can we expect from the upcoming Cairo Bites?
Building on last year’s debut event, we’re always trying to make the next one even bigger and better – starting with the venue. With so much history, Baron Palace was a great first venue; but we wanted somewhere different.
Yes, you’ll be holding the event at Family Park – what triggered the move from Baron Palace?
Well it gives us much more room and although we loved the surroundings at Baron Palace, we’re certain that moving to a larger space will benefit everyone. We can host more F&B vendors, more visitors and what’s better than spending a sunny day in a park surrounded by greenery? Family Park is a unique and beautiful location and Cairo Bites visitors will be the first to visit it in the spring.
A little sneak-peak at this year’s venue, Family Park.
Are there criteria for choosing who/what sets up booths at the festival?
We’re always looking out for restaurants, eateries, cafes and kitchens that are offering something new and innovative. Like I mentioned earlier, there are places to eat all over Cairo, many of which have their own ways of doing things. Cairo Bites is about being creative and expressive with food and, luckily for us all, Cairo is also a hub creativity these days and it’s something that has enriched the dining scene and how food is approached in general.
We hear there will be more cooking demos this year – if you could choose one chef in the world to do it, who would it be?
Ooh, that's a tough one - but my dream guest chef would definitely be Gordan Ramsey - apparently, he's not as moody and angry in real life!
Can you cook? Do you have a ‘specialty’?
Well, I’m not the most inventive when I get in the kitchen. I make good pasta – which I guess means my specialty is Italian cuisine – right? Right?!
Alright, alright - whatever you say. If you had to eat from one restaurant/café/bakery for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I couldn’t tell you that – it’s a secret. Plus, there’s too much out there to ever stick with one type of food!
I hate secrets - well, what’s your (food-based) guilty pleasure?
That one’s easy – and it’s no secret. Chocolate.
Cairo Bites is set to take place on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th of April at Family Park in New Cairo. For information on tickets, click here.