American Kabayan Food and Art Festival at Novotel Jeddah enthralls food buffs


Saudi Gazette

NOVOTEL Jeddah, a part of Accor group of hotels, hosted its second food festival called the “American Kabayan Food and Art Festival” last. 5 to the delight of Filipino community in Jeddah.

“Create your own burger” concept was the highlight of the whole event where guests can build their burger with the combination of ingredients available to them with live cooking where one of the enthusiastic cooks create an excellent burger right in front of you. Kids and teenagers also got involved in hot waffle prepared in from them. Kabayans (compatriots) living in Jeddah came with families and close friends to enjoy the event.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette few of the Filipino community members present at the food fusion expressed their feelings. Falco Dingal said “Nice opportunity to enjoy Filipino and American food at a single venue.” Sheen Medrona said, “A place for other nationalities to enjoy Filipino food in a great ambiance ”, she also added “Working hard all week we need this kind of events to re-energize us.” Another community member from Filipino community Ronelle Monaco, said “ I liked the beef burger here the best.” Lyn C. Monaco said, “If there are more events like this. I’ll get my colleagues and friends to come here. He also added, “The sushi and the chicken wings were great.” Robert Mitchell Rivera said, “Variety of fresh fruits and vegetables also available for health buffs.

Edgar Barrairo Badajos, Consul General of the Philippines in Jeddah, said “Novotel Tahlia Jeddah is holding a very good initiative for kabayans. We need to preserve our culture. Such events promote and showcase kabayan culture. We need to spend more time with our families, friends and other compatriots. Deep understanding of the culture is much needed. Children should engage in fun activities. Kabayans in Jeddah should host and engage more in community activities. Meaningful engagements should be planned.”

Novotel Executive Chef Saad Trini was proud to offer the “American chopsuey and the mango rice pudding.”

Fadhel Tahar, general manager of Novotel Tahliah Jeddah, said “I have been with the Filipino community from the time I worked in the US. I have been exposed a lot to their culture and food. I have a lot of kabayan friends. Moving here to Saudi Arabia I see a lot of Filipinos here, and there is not much being done by other hotels to promote their food and the kabayan culture.”

He added that Novotel Tahliah Jeddah took this responsibility to promote their culture and their food. Everywhere you go, you see them, they are nice and friendly people who are

contributing a lot to this country. Here at Novotel Tahliah Jeddah, we also celebrate diversity and understand that we need to bridge cultures by holding these kind food events. We have done Tajin night before where we served different Moroccan food cuisines to food lovers.”

Susie Khalil, a blogger, said “the food was fantastic, everybody should come and experience it. There is something for everyone here.”