Choc-a-Bloc Culinary Classes at Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival


Non-stop cooking demonstrations at SCRF

It has been a frantic few days for the chefs and their teams at the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF), as 14 hour-long sessions a day are keeping the kids gasping for more and the gourmets gasping for breath.

Dubai’s Culinary Boutique Restaurant is making sure the kids learn as many techniques and recipes as possible, delivering a total of six-hours of workshops a day.

With sessions covering an entire spectrum of catering from Oreo smoothies and chocolate cake lollipops to healthy Caesar salads and exotic fruit platters, Culinary Boutique has had queues of up to 30 youngsters between the ages of 4-16 years clambering for places at the cooking stations.

With the rate of culinary participation so far at SCRF, which is taking place at Expo Centre Sharjah until April 28 under the theme ‘Your Future… Just a Book Away’, the two ‘cooking labs’ and the main live cooking stage, will have entertained and informed almost 2,000 kid connoisseurs by the time the event concludes.

Chef Birendra, one of the desert workshop managers explained that while the enthusiasm for the chocolate dishes was causing the most excitement, there was also plenty of interest in the healthier options.

“It’s great to see that it’s not all sweets and sugar that the children want to try, they also want to know about different nourishment values and recipes using more wholesome ingredients.

“There are certainly a huge amount of children who are coming to these demonstrations and workshops, but that’s fantastic to see, especially when they actually learning something rather than just tasting the results.”

The festival’s events span several programmes, under the main themes of Kids Activities, Cultural Programmes, Cultural Café, Kids’ Creative Café, Social Media Café and Cookery Corner. SCRF 2018 also features a series of international theatrical performances like ‘Tuta and Monkey Cheetah’, and the ‘Island of Kids’ Area’ that combine education, fun and entertainment to highlight the values of honesty to young visitors.

A prime highlight of the festival this year is its first ever 3D Book Exhibition, featuring 250 pop-up books from the 3D Book Centre in Forli, Italy. The books have been handpicked by the exhibition curators to represent eight different periods of time. One of SCRF’s mainstays, the Sharjah Exhibition for Children’s Books Illustrations, is featuring 355 artworks by 104 illustrators from 32 countries this year.

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