(Super late post, sorry!)
I always get excited when invitations for food bloggers events come my way. It means that I’ll be meeting old and new acquaintances. But most of all, I also get the chance to discover restaurants I haven’t visited yet. This time, I was invited by Rochelle Zonnenberg (http://questandmark.com) of Qatar Living to join their garden dinner at the Chef’s Garden Restaurant and Café.
Going there was quite a task as I’m not familiar with area. It’s located near QNCC, beside the Al Shaqab Academy. Got lost three times and felt a bit cranky from the traffic, it all dissipated when I arrived at the place.
The restaurant was a like breath of fresh air, literally. It’s all about the space; the high ceiling, the space between the tables, minimalist design, every little details just worked. It has an understated elegance that makes you go “ooooh” the first time you see it. If simplicity is beauty then this restaurant takes the cake. So, bravo the one who spearheaded this concept and the designers who delivered. (Pity I wasn’t able to take pictures of the garden as I was too captivated by it.)
We were warmly greeted by Chef Eric Cousin who had a quick wit and very friendly air about him. He gave us a round of the food to be served and tipped us that the cheesecake was great. And you trust a chef when he tells you something like that. He then turned us to Ms. Olfa, the one who manages Al Safwa Farm. She told us of the rigorous process of making a farm organic and how to sell it in the slightly conservative market of Qatar. One of the things that she pointed out was the price. You gotta admit, “organic” and “expensive” is synonymous around the world and more so in Qatar. So, she set a price that would be accessible to a wider market. It paid off since people are now more interested in buying local organic food than relying on the imports from Europe normally found in the supermarket.
Managed by Amlak Holdings, The Chef’s Garden in cooperation with Al Safwa Farm, Qatar’s first organic farm to earn an international certification (IFOAM-Organics International), strives to serve as much organic produce from the local market with a farm-to-table concept makes sure that their guests are served only the freshest and deeleeciousest food. It’s no wonder why this hidden spot of lush greenery is becoming one of the rising stars in Qatar’s food scene.
Some of the people that I was given the pleasure of meeting were Dawn, who’s a journalist and Noemi (finally ) of pinayflyinghigh.com, Nuwaid and Saima of Crunch Doha. And to got to see old acquaintances like Shamim (qatareating.com), Nats (lemonandmint.com), Leila (macaronandhighheels.com) and Kathryn (kathrynsdohadinners.wordpress.com).
Thank you Qatar Living and Chef’s Garden for a night filled with fun, food, laughter and stories.
Now for the mandatory food pics. Sorry if I’m not able to name all of them as I have a poor memory but let me tell you, they were all yummy in my tummy.