HCM CITY HCM City s annual Taste of the World cuisine festival will be held in a public area for the first time to attract more tourists and residents, the city tourism authority told a press conference yesterday.
It will be in zone B of the September 23 Park in the downtown area, after being moved from its old home at Van Thanh Tourist Park in Binh Thanh District.
"The September 23 Park is conveniently located near the Pham Ngu Lao backpackers tourist area," La Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said.
The festival is likely to cost three times more than last year because of its larger scale, he said.
"Organisers are carefully considering issues like environmental protection, hygiene, and environment-friendly take-away packaging."
To open on December 3, the four-day festival will feature dishes voted in "HCM City 100 interesting things", a poll to be done by the city s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Tourism Association. The poll, undertaken to improve tourist quality, will have a cuisine section.
The most interesting feature of this year s event will be a street festival on the opening day, Khanh said.
It will open with a performance of the legend Banh Chung Banh Day (Square and Round Glutinous Rice Cakes), which symbolises Vietnamese culinary tradition, and feature performances by artists from 24 attending countries that will highlight the jobs of cooks, bartenders, and waiters.
There will also be a rock music night, "Ton vinh vua cua cac loai thuc uong" (Celebrating the king of beverages) on the opening day, followed by two nights of folk music.
The highlights of the festival will include a cocktail-mixing show by the Sai Gon Bartenders Club, other culinary presentations and folk games.
Viet Nam Outdoor Culinary Challenge, a contest organised by the Sai Gon Professional Chefs Club on the third day, will offer young chefs in HCM City a chance to display their skills.
Among the more interesting displays will be miniatures of wonders from around the world and Viet Nam made of cans, boxes, bottle caps and fruit.
"The food festival is expected to attract 80,000 visitors," Nicholas Fraser, general director of the Youth Advertising JSC, one of the organisers along with the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Tourism Association, said.
"Last year s event cost VND200 million (US$11,000) and featured foods from 22 countries, attracting around 4,000 visitors every evening," Khanh said. VNS