Beirut is still as vibrant as ever with its many exhibitions and festivals and it has once again welcomed the Beirut Cooking Festival and Salon du Chocolat to its heart. Held in Biel from 16-18 November, this year’s events are a true celebration of the best tastes and latest culinary trends, with the participation of over 42 chefs, experts and professionals who will be sharing their passion for food, beverage and lifestyle with more than 15,000 visitors over the course of three days.

Inaugurated on Thursday, 16 November, under the patronage of HE Minister of Tourism Avedis Guidanian, the seventh edition of the Beirut Cooking Festival and fourth edition of the Salon du Chocolat Beirut, which take place under the theme “Winter Wonderland,” celebrate the nation’s rich gastronomy and bring focus to Beirut, a city recently named as the world’s best food destination.

Visitors to the Beirut Cooking Festival can look forward to exploring a wide selection of cuisines and new products from more than 54 exhibitors and learn how to prepare Lebanese and international dishes from the top chefs during 58 demonstrations at the Chefs’ Theater. In addition, the Librairie Gourmande offers a wide selection of cookbooks and book signings with well-known authors, and the pop-up bar at the Taste & Flavors stand hosts a number of beverage workshops with experts.

In parallel, the Salon du Chocolat features 58 stands displaying the latest trends in the world of chocolate, confectionery and pastry as well as a number of exciting events. Acclaimed Lebanese artist, sculptor and poet, Rudy Rahme and chef Charles Azar will unveil their unique chocolate sculpture created especially for the occasion. The duo will also oversee a chocolate sculpture competition with the participation of more than 10 students from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-arts (Alba), who will be competing to create the most exciting chocolate sculpture from a single chocolate block. The theme of the competition will be the “Musical Ear” with the final pieces on display at the exhibition.

Lebanese designers and famous pastry chefs have worked hand in hand to design fabulous chocolate dresses and the final 13 creations will be showcased during two runway shows. Designer to the stars Jean-Louis Sabaji has teamed-up with Lebanese master consultant chef Charles Azar to create the fashion show’s masterpiece.

Elsewhere in the salon, the Choco Demo provides visitors with the chance to meet 20 leading pastry chefs and learn how to create tasty desserts.

Furthermore, the Salon du Chocolat Junior offers children an area where they can experiment with chocolate and enjoy activities such as cookie decorating.

Joumana Dammous, managing director of Hospitality Services and organizer of Beirut Cooking Festival and Salon du Chocolat Beirut stated, “We are delighted to host these simultaneous events every year and celebrate amazing flavors, great taste and the latest trends.” She added, “Food lies at the heart of Lebanese culture and is something that we are immensely proud of. Our nation’s rich cuisine is admired the world over and these two events reinforce the capital as an international food hot spot.”

Beirut Cooking Festival and Salon du Chocolat; 16 – 18 November, Biel; 3 - 10 pm -