By Faten Omar
KUWAIT: The European Union delegation to Kuwait launched the first European cookbook on Sunday at Four Seasons Hotel. The cookbook includes recipes from 27 European countries – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.
“In Europe, as in Kuwait, food is an expression of our cultural heritage, identities, social lives and traditions. Tonight, we are here celebrating the unity in diversity of our European culinary traditions, through the launch of the book ‘A Union of European Flavors’,” Ambassador of the European Union to Kuwait Cristian Tudor said.
He said EU diversity is best reflected by the richness of European cuisine, which is experienced by all foreigners traveling through Europe, where food provides a unique opportunity to harness human connections and develop new relations. “This cookbook is a celebration of community, friendship and diversity that make the European Union so unique. Kuwait is blessed with many high-quality restaurants serving European dishes. Such diversity of culinary options makes Kuwait an extraordinary and welcoming place,” he added.
Tudor expressed his joy to launch the EU’s first cookbook in Kuwait, which builds on the success the EU has here with. “To prepare this cookbook, we invited every EU member states’ ambassador to Kuwait to share a recipe which they consider the most representative of their country or which they like the most,” he said. He praised Kuwaiti, saying for the European Union, Kuwait stands out as a close and reliable friend.
“When you think about Kuwait, food is an important element of the society, and being a foodie myself, I thought this would be an opportunity to create bridges between Europe and Kuwait. We are doing this for the purpose of closeness between our people and societies; I strongly believe that while I do my best in building political-economical relations, you see the strength of EU relations with all Kuwaitis traveling to Europe for tourism, study and investments,” Tudor said.
Tudor revealed that next year, EU will hold the European film festival for the first time in Kuwait. “The European Union is looking to engage more in cultural activities. We hope to partner with member states and Kuwait to organize cultural events.” On the EU’s announcement of waiving the visa requirement for Kuwait, he said: “I believe Kuwait will soon to be added to the visa-free travel list, which will attract airlines and tourism companies. It will boost tourism and open the doors for more investments. If everything goes according to the plan after Kuwait is added to the visa-free travel list, I think there will be a lot of demand and a lot of Kuwaitis will be able to travel to Europe. Many companies will be involved more in the Kuwaiti market and more European airlines will have direct flights.”
Thierry Papillier, Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya, said that today is a very special evening where several European ambassadors are sharing a selection of European dishes while participating in live cooking. “I am going to cook a taste of Europe. The menu has several dishes to serve today; we will start with a Cypriot salad which includes halloumi, watermelon and mint. As for the main course, I will prepare bragioli (beef olives) from Malta. The vegetarian option is from Italy (melanzane alla parmigiana) and the dessert is a German black forest cake. Lastly, we will finish with a cookie from Belgium called speculoos, a type of spiced shortcrust biscuit,” he said.
Kuwaiti Chef Hanouf Al-Balhan pointed out that the selected dishes that were served tonight were evaluated and voted on based on their closeness with European and Arab cuisines. “There will be a great turnout by Kuwaitis, who love to taste and explore. We expect them to download and read the European cookbook and try new flavors, especially as they are documented and approved,” she said.
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