Qatar’s food scene: From traditional cuisine to digital innovations
Food tells us so much about a country’s culture. Qatar 365 tried some local dishes at one of the biggest tourist destinations, had a masterclass with a celebrity chef and explored the latest gourmet developments.
Local Qatari flavours
Shams Al Qassabi’s restaurant, Shai AlShamous, attracts locals and tourists alike. The mother of five, is the first woman to run a business in the Souq.
“I worked hard, day and night. I invented and enhanced a few traditional Qatari recipes. I only cook food that is connected to our heritage, culture, and ancestors,” she explains.
Chef Aisha Al Tamimi’s passion for cuisine, started out of necessity because at the age of fifteen, she found herself cooking for her family. She now presents cooking shows and teaches others her skill, and the former teacher has also already authored several cookbooks.
The Cooking Academy is the brainchild of her son, who shares her passion and love for food, and Qatari cuisine. Since it first opened its doors in 2019, the Academy has welcomed three thousand children and a thousand adults to learn and enjoy the art of cooking.
Cooking with Captain Chef
Hassan Al Ibrahim is a pilot who doubles up as a celebrity chef. He has been flying for almost two decades, during that time, he’s never lost his passion for food, visiting local restaurants and street vendors around the world. Now a household name, Captain Chef told Qatar 365, his passion runs deep for his favourite local meals, “we have almost one base, it’s all about the spices, the aroma of the spices there are not more than fifteen dishes, but they are special, mixed cultures from here and there. This is the Qatari cuisine.” Ibrahim believes his food is art that reflects his culture, telling a story about families, friends, memories, moments, and celebrations.
Digital Culinary innovations
And Qatar’s dining culture continues to develop in various interesting ways. Le Petit Chef at Doha’s Ritz-Carlton hotel offers guests a four-course set menu with a twist. A digital dining experience including intricate storytelling takes foodies on a gastronomic journey when a tiny, animated chef serves the meals.
At Iksha360, another trendy eatery, not only can you enjoy a fine dining experience, but there is also a breathtaking view of Doha, Losail and the Pearl, a luxurious manmade island in the city’s West Bay district.
The restaurant was once just an open rooftop that has now transformed into a panoramic attraction with three concepts: a cigar lounge on the 40th floor, an intimate dining experience on the 41st and a 42nd-floor tearoom lounge with a jungle concept, which serves contemporary South Asian food.
The experience comes complete with a street food cart serving appetizers, and traditional drinks incorporating the latest gourmet gimmicks.
While the restaurant says it serves VVIPs and royalty, the wide array of dishes is for anyone with a love for mouthwatering morsels and a spectacular view.