RIYADH: Denmark’s Embassy in Riyadh organized a cooking class and competition to promote Danish and new Nordic cuisine in Saudi Arabia.
New Nordic cuisine is a culinary movement that was developed in the mid-2000s in the European region.
The 12 local participants made three Danish dishes — open sandwiches (smørrebrød), layer-cake (lagkage), and apple-cake (æblekage) — for three judges from the embassy.
“We are thrilled to see how the local contestants will perceive Danish food and, more importantly, how they will execute them,” said Julie Andersen, a cultural and media officer at the embassy, who was one of the judges.
“We hope it will be a great and fun culinary experience – and who knows, we might get new inspiration for future cooking.”
Nawal Al-Jabr, head of the women’s section at Al-Riyadh newspaper, was one of the participants.
“I believe that this is a new step and a good gesture from the Danish Embassy to present a part of its culture and traditions here in Saudi Arabia,” she told Arab News.
“I believe in cultural exchange and to learn about the country and its cuisine, which is different from what we have in Saudi Arabia. It is a new experience for me and I’m happy to participate in such events.”
The deputy head of mission, Michael Jensen, said it was the first time the embassy had done a Masterchef-style cooking class in Riyadh, adding that doing something “colorful and healthy” was the theme for one of the dishes.
There was a big appetite for high-quality, healthy and organic food in the Kingdom, he added. “Not just in terms of low in calories but how nourishing the foods are, and that is what I sense in the market here in Saudi Arabia. I think there is room for Nordic cuisine.”
Participants had to make each Danish dish in 20 minutes, with the judges evaluating the taste, presentation, and execution of the dishes.
Most of the participants were from the Saudi Food and Drug Authority and different media outlets, along with an Arab News team who won the competition.
The competition was held in the Diplomatic Quarter.
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