An elite group of top international chefs and nutritionists will be participating in the eighth edition of the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF 2016). Organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) under the theme ‘Shine Out,’ the professional food experts’ input will form a major component of the exhibition, which runs from April 20-30, at Expo Centre Sharjah.
SCRF 2016’s cookery programme will feature 34 live cooking events and demonstrations and 27 training workshops that have been specifically designed to help children and their mothers learn how to prepare a variety of delicious dishes. Children taking part will have the opportunity to learn basic dinning etiquette, understand table manners and discover how to make creative use of leftovers in the preparation of meals. They will also be taught tips relating to food safety and food shopping, as well as how to keep the kitchen environment safe and clean.
The list of renowned Arab chefs taking part in SCRF 2016 includes Kuwaiti chef Intisar Ibrahim Al Mutawa, Head of the Zahr Centre for Professional Training and a Food Manufacturing Consultant. Ibrahim has written 13 cookbooks for Kuwait Flour Mills and Bakeries Company. Joining him will be Jordanian chef Rasha Hamdan, who has headed the sweets sections in a number of five-star hotels in Jordan. Rasha, who is highly regarded for her passion for cooking, is the author of a book about sweets and biscuits.
Bahraini chef Aisha Bahloul, who is attending as part of the SCRF 2016 programme, is a graduate of the Technical Institute of Catering and Hospitality and the driving force behind the 14-book series ‘Chef Encyclopedia.’ Aisha, who currently manages
hotels in Dubai and who also owns the ‘Pick Ortique’ restaurant chain, enjoys the opportunity to participate in international book fairs, where she displays her many book titles as well as showcases her culinary prowess.
Cookery experts from further afield participating at SBA 2016 include German chef Christina, who started her career when she left her country and enrolled at a university in the United States. Missing the food of her native homeland, she started to create her own dishes and bake her own bread, with her cooking rapidly growing in popularity. Christina is the author of the cookbook ‘Bembli for Family Cooking,’ which was the winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2014 and took third place as the best family cookbook in the world.
Also from Europe, Italian couple Giancarlo and Katie will be revealing their combined culinary skills at SCRF's 2016’s cookery programme. Katie published her book ‘Introduction to Italian Cuisine’ in October 2009 and was nominated for the Andre Simon Prize. Giancarlo and Katie also released ‘Roma's Food’ in April 2015, which added greatly to their reputation in local Italian cuisine.
Lovers of Indian food will enjoy the presence of Saransh Gulja, chef, TV show host, author, food consultant and columnist. Saransh set a record in the Limca Book of Records 2014 for the ‘longest road journey by a chef’, when he hosted India’s biggest food travelogue show, ‘Roti Rasta aur India’ on the Food Channel. He is also popular for his online food and travel show ‘The Spice Traveller’ and ‘Health Challenge’ where he makes Indian dishes healthier. He is a passionate globetrotter and has dedicated himself to promoting regional Indian food around the world.
Another Indian chef making an appearance at SCRF 2016 is Manju Malhi, a TV chef and award-winning author of several cookbooks. Growing up in the north west of London, the capital of Britain, Manju also spent several years in India where she experienced the country’s vast and varied cuisine. Manju’s cooking draws on her past and combines it with the realities of urban Western life, creating her own unique Brit-Indi style of food.
SCRF's visitors will also get the chance to taste the most popular and delicious dishes from Canadian Chef Jennifer Lo, author of two bestselling children's cookbooks ‘Children's Kitchen’ and ‘Daily Kitchen of Children,’ which put safety at the top of priorities in the kitchen.
Also participating at the event is British Nigerian Chef Neki Eweka, who published her first cookbook ‘Evik Model Recipes’ in 2014, which is the first of a series of four cookbooks about Nigerian cuisine. Neki is currently involved in writing her second book, ‘Igbo Model Recipes.’
Other guests taking part in the cookery programme at SCRF 2016 include Lucy and Greg Malouf from Australia and Lebanon. Driven by their passion for Middle Eastern cuisine throughout the past 20 years, they have travelled extensively and shared their experiences in the art of cooking with others. Lucy and Greg Malof have written several award-winning cookbooks.