If you’re a cheese fanatic, or to use the fancy term, turophile, and get super excited about the idea of sampling cheeses from around the world, The Dubai Cheese Fest is waiting for you. Taking place at the Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina from February 22 - 23, the region’s largest international cheese festival is being organised by SOPEXA as part of this year’s Dubai Food Festival.
Even the most educated and experienced cheese connoisseurs will be wowed by the “enormous selection of rare, vintage, new and classic cheeses,” according to Edwina Salvatori, Managing Director of SOPEXA Middle East. She added the inaugural edition of the cheese event will give visitors the opportunity to meet and talk to award-winning international cheese specialists and learn from the best.
Award-winning cheesemonger François Robin
Demonstrating how versatile different types of cheeses are, the festival, where entrance is free, will host the talents of experts such as cheese word champion Fabien Degoulet, award-winning cheesemonger François Robin, Indian artisan cheesemaker Mansi Jasani and critically acclaimed chef Mohanad Alshamali from BHAR, Renaissance Hotel Dubai. The impressive roster of people will be creating unique and original pairings with unconventional ingredients from around the world.
Plus, internationally recognised cheese expert Mark Todd, aka The Cheese Dude, will be on hand to share encyclopaedic knowledge gleaned over a near 30-year career as an artisanal cheese aficionado, author and dairy industry expert. The US Dairy brand ambassador will reveal a wide range of US cheeses highlighting their impressive flavours and unusual textures, while drawing on their versatility and quality to complement the diverse local cuisine.
SOPEXA, the international partner of food and beverage companies, has also ensured a line-up of prestigious and acclaimed producers, sommeliers and chefs. Between demos and cooking sessions, you can indulge in traditional cheese-based dishes from Latin America, Italy, Eastern Europe, Greece, India and the Middle East to name a few, while making the rounds of the exhibitor booths. Plus, you’ll have the chance to sample produce from well-known cheese producers including Soignon goat cheese or discover cheeses from as far away as New Zealand.
Closer to home, The House of Cheese, by the Cheeses of Europe, is featuring a mouthwatering display of French cheeses presented by four cheese experts. The team has prepared workshops and demonstrations to show the countless ways their unique cheeses can be eaten.
“This isn’t just a tasting or education event, it’s a whole world of cheeses, featuring a diverse mix of international varieties and recipes. In recent years, people have become much more aware of the broad spectrum of cheese on offer and as a result, global demand has increased,” Salvatori said. She added while everybody has a preferred cheese, the festival gives many people the chance to taste different and unique varieties for the first time, all under one roof.
Heading to the festival can also be turned into a family event as the organisers have planned for kids to be entertained all day long at the kids’ corner and CheeseArt drawing area.