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Dubai to host the region’s largest international cheese festival

Cheese connoisseurs can rejoice as SOPEXA, the international partner of food and beverage companies, is launching the largest cheese event of its kind in the Middle East, as part of this year’s Dubai Food Festival.


The Dubai Cheese Fest will take place at the stunning Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, from 7pm on 22 February and 12 noon on 23 February.


The inaugural edition of the festival will feature cheeses from around the world, served by a line-up of prestigious and acclaimed producers. During the two-day extravaganza, producers will be joined by cheese experts, sommeliers and chefs, who are prepared to wow even the most knowledgeable cheese lover – or to use the correct term, turophile. 


“As the first and only cheese festival of its kind in the region, it is clear UAE cheese afincionados have been waiting for such an event. The festival will feature an enormous selection of rare, vintage, new and classic cheeses and will wow even the most educated and experienced cheese connoisseurs. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet and interact with award-winning cheese specialists from different parts of the world and learn from the best” said Edwina Salvatori, Managing Director, SOPEXA Middle East.


Internationally recognised cheese expert Mark Todd, aka The Cheese Dude, the US Dairy brand ambassador 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. He will showcase 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.


The House of Cheese, by the Cheeses of Europe, brought to Dubai by the French Dairy Board, CNIEL will feature a mouthwatering display of French cheeses presented by four cheese experts. The team will deliver workshops and demonstrate how their unique cheeses can be eaten anytime, anywhere, anyhow!


Between demos and cooking sessions, visitors can indulge in traditional cheese-based dishes from Latin America, Italy, Eastern Europe, Greece, India and the Middle East amongst others, as they amble dozens of exhibitor booths. They will also have the opportunity to sample produce from well-known cheese producers including Soignon goat cheese or discover cheeses from as far away as New Zealand.


“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.


“Today everybody has a favourite cheese, however the Dubai Cheese Fest will be for many the first chance to sample so many different and often unique varieties, all in one place. We are confident that every visitor will be amazed by the new flavours and recipes they try,” Salvatori said.


Demonstrating the versatility of different types of cheese, the festival will showcase the talents of experts such as cheese word champion Fabien Degoulet, award-winning cheesemonger Francois Robin, Indian artisan cheesemaker Mansi Jasani and critically acclaimed chef Mohanad Alshamali from BHAR, Renaissance Hotel Dubai. They will be creating unique and original pairings with unconventional ingredients from around the world.


While the adults enjoy a line-up of irresistible pairings, families can also keep the kids entertained all day long at the kids’ corner and CheeseArt drawing area.


All visitors can benefit from a 30% discount on journeys to and from the event thanks to official partner Careem by using promo code CHEESEFEST, capped at AED20 each way.


The event, which is free to enter, is produced by SOPEXA, the international Food & drink marketing agency, heavily involved in promoting food culture worldwide.

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