From December 20, 2018 to February 9, 2019, Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ula region hosted visitors from across the world who had come into the Kingdom for the inaugural edition of Winter in Tantoura. During a series of themed weekend events, festival visitors got to experience a range of activities in the stunning region including a celebration of the winter planting season, weekly cultural events, a spectacular Fursan equine experience, and premiere musical performances from some of the world’s greatest musicians.
In preparation for the second edition of the festival, 24 female and male cooks from Al-Ula will be selected to train for four months at the renowned Ferrandi-Paris School. According to Saudi Gazette, the young cooks will be part of this specially designed course made possible through a partnership between the Royal Commission for Al-Ula and “one of the pioneering French schools in the art of cookery and hospitality management.”
For the first stage of the training, a team of senior lecturers and experts at Ferrandi are set to arrive in Al-Ula to select eligible candidates. Once their training is complete, the 24 will return to the region and be offered the opportunity to work under the supervision of 10 senior chefs who have Michellin Stars. As explained by the news site, these young chefs will help within their new roles to design dishes unique to Al-Ula, taking inspiration from existing local cuisines and culinary traditions, and these dishes will eventually be offered to guests attending the next season of Winter in Tantoura.
Established in 1920 by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ferrandi-Paris is an internationally-recognized school of culinary arts, offering a unique range of courses, from vocational programs to Master's degrees, that prepare for careers in gastronomy and hospitality. According to its website, the school has a diverse student body from France and around the world ranging from young people and adults, to established professionals and career switchers.