We catch up with the founders of Cairo Bites to talk about how the festival has evolved, taking Egyptian cuisine global and finding the perfect bite.
From April 17th - 18th Egypt's biggest ever food festival will bloom from the greenery of the brand new and breathtaking Family Park in Rehab city. The gorgeous space will play host to up to to 20,000 hungry Cairenes for the second edition of Cairo Bites. Following the hugely successful debut at Baron Palace last year this one is set to be on a whole other level with a massive array of food tasting booths from your local and international favourites as well as some new flavors from all across the globe for your taste buds to party it up with. When you've had just about enough bites for one day, you can give your other senses a treat with competitions, celebrity chef cooking shows and musical performances.
This is Egypt's best answer to famous food markets around the world such as Borough Market in London or Union Square Greenmarket in New York, and when you look at how our food and beverage establishments have managed to expand, and flourish over the past five years despite wide-spread socio-economic problems, it's easy to see just how important food is to us.
How did Cairo Bites start?
Egyptians are food lovers by nature. Our society has several food recipes and dishes that would impress the world, to name a few; molkheya, foul, 7awawshy…etc. We love food and we like to share this love with others, and that’s where the idea evolved from. Sharing the love of food.
What will be different this year from last year’s Cairo Bites?
We learned from last year’s event. We analyzed the hiccoughs and mistakes and this year’s event will be flawless. It is not an understatement if we, boldly, say this will be the talk of the town for the whole year.
Is anything specific we should be looking forward to at this year’s Cairo Bites?
More exhibitors from a wide variety across cuisines and restaurants. We bring you the east and the west in one location to please your belly and to give you an unmatched once in a life time experience.
What is your main goal with Cairo Bites aside from putting on a fun event?
It is all about the pleasure the food gives you. You eat when you are sad; you eat when you are happy. Our goal is to give each and every person the chance to taste new recipes or experience the same traditional food in a new way. Our goal is to give this orgasmic pleasure to each and every person. At least this pleasure is not 18+!
Despite recent economic turmoil, food and beverage business still seem to flourish everywhere around Cairo, why do you think this is?
Egypt is the most populated country in the MENA region. According to several entities, our F&B industry is growing by 25% annual and it will grow to surpass this number. Kellogg’s acquired Bisco-Masr for a reason; they know that this market has great potential. Our F&B industry is so promising and it will be more promising as soon as we have strict polices and clear regulations being implemented to ensure the quality of F&B served to each customer.
We've had sushi, cupcakes, balady chic, gourmet burgers... What do you think is going to be the next food trend for Egyptian restaurateurs and consumers?
The food industry is like the fashion industry. Fashion takes time to arrive to our market, food is exactly the same. Maybe the next trend will be something we haven't heard of yet. At the end of the day, if it is edible we will eat it all!
Why do you think Egypt hasn't been able to put on a proper farmers market yet, is it because of available fresh produce?
I would like to disagree with you; we have growing farmers market. You can see those in several places serving the high end community. But since profit margins are not high, economy is still recovering and few people are keen to buy organic products, we are not sure if they will last or grow. We were raised with our mothers buying all our fresh produce from street markets. Nowadays it is all about hyper markets. Proper farmers markets needs serious support from the government.
What's your go to food when you're craving a midnight snack?
Any type of fruit!
What's your favourite restaurant in Cairo?
We love food, any restaurant that serves good food will be our favourite.
Favourite Egyptian food?
How can Egypt elevate i's national dishes to spread internationally?
A proper promotional campaign aligned with our tourism campaign will do the job. You need to educate the world about our special recipes and we haven't done this. The Lebanese kitchen has a wide more reputation than the Egyptian kitchen. Food is the ambassador of the nation; we just need to present our food in a more creative, influential way. Egyptian embassies across the globe can take the lead on that.
Where do you think Cairo's food establishment’s rate with the rest of the world?
We believe it’s one of the top cuisines worldwide as we have some unique dishes that you can’t find anywhere else.
Will any of the dishes featured be paired with certain beverages?
Attend the festival and you can find out yourself!
How would you describe the perfect bite?
The one that you enjoy and feels like you are in heaven.
For tickets call 16826 or visit their fanpage here.