Tourism players in Malindi and Magarini Sub Counties have initiated a food festival aimed at promoting the industry and showcase the diverse dishes available in the destination.
The festival dubbed Malindi Masala Cooking competition (Koroga festival) organized by Barefoot beach camp brings together tourism resorts, popular restaurants and supermarket in the international tourism destination.
It also brings together people from diverse cultures both locals and foreigners to take part in the event that comprises of food products being cooked to suit the diverse cadre of people.
Journalists attended one of the festival yesterday which will now be held after every three months in different resorts and came face to face with the diverse tastes of food all made using the ‘koroga’ with masala.
Interestingly the festival held at Malindi Sea Fishing club in the resort town brought together locals, Hindu, Italians, British and Germans.
In the festival there were seven contestants including Barefoot beach camp, Karen Blixen Coffee garden Malindi, Seven to Seven Supermarket, Sandies Tropical village Kenya (Dream of Africa), Surahi Restaurant,, Cheshale Bay and Drift Wood club.
The contestants were expected to prepare one dish of vegetarian enough for four people plus one dish enough for four people based on Koroga (Indian dishes)
Each contestants was supplied with tomato, onions, garlic ginger, coriander, salt, two Jikos, two wooden spoons, cooking pots, charcoal, waste bin.
However each participant was supposed to bring their own main food items, grinders, spices, knives and chopping boards.
Competitors were supposed to choose cooking sea foods mea t, chicken vegetable.
There were three judges who were supposed to go round to oversee the entire process and finally taste the foods once ready.
In the contestant Dream of Africa emerged the winner, followed by Surahi restaurant an Indian Hotel. Cheshale and Seven To Seven (Defending Champions) tied in the third position. All winners got cash prices and certificates of participation.
Guests were also treated to lunch which cost Sh. 500 to enable them taste the diverse foods that had been prepared.
Rob of Karen Blixen said the festival was important in promoting tourism in Malindi which was affected for the past few years due to insecurity.
He said such initiatives were giving hope for the revival of the sector and showcasing the world the unique and nice foods available in Malindi.
“We are happy to be part of the Koroga festival; this will help in reviving the tourism sector in the resort town which had gone down,’’ he said.
Rajesh Shah of Seven to seven Supermarkets who prepared Indian dishes said the festival was an opportunity to bring people together not only to see the different foods but share the diverse cultural meals and have fun.
He said even though they were in supermarket business they had an opportunity to showcase their cooking skills and interact with other tourism stakeholders.
Edward Aniere of barefoot Beach camp said the idea of the Koroga festival was to bring people together for fun adding that the next contest will be held in the destination which will be named by the winner.
He said their aim is to take the food festival to Watamu, Kilifi and the entire coast region which is a popular tourism destination.
“The food being prepared here can be eaten by all people regardless of their cultures, that’s why it has attracted all kinds of people from Indians, and foreigners,’’ he said.
Pauline Balleto one of the judges said all the food cooked was nice and it was difficult to get the winner but after careful consideration they managed to get the winners.
With such initiatives Malindi could soon get back to its feet again and regain its lost glory of the best tourism destination.