Two foodie festivals are taking place in Oman this autumn. The Olive Harvest Festival takes place at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar in Northern Oman in September and an international Culinary Festival showcasing a number of Michelin starred chefs is being held Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara in Southern Oman in November.
Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort Olive Festival – Northern Oman. September welcomes a pleasantly cool temperature in Oman and sees Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar hold its second annual Olive Harvest Festival. Following the success of the inaugural event in 2022, the luxury resort perched high in the Green Mountains two hours from Muscat, will once again join with local olive farmers and olive oil producers to celebrate the region’s bounty. Al Jabal Al Akhdar, also called the Green Mountain, is known as one of the most fertile areas of Oman. Its ancient falaj irrigation system and hillside farms have helped roses bloom and the growth of pomegranates and apricots for hundreds of years. Seeking to reap the benefits of this rich landscape, around ten years ago local farmers decided to plant olive trees. A triumphant harvest the following year rewarded their efforts, and ever since olive trees have delivered a fruitful crop annually.
Al Jabal Al Akhdar, also called the Green Mountain, is known as one of the most fertile areas of Oman. Its ancient falaj irrigation system and hillside farms have helped roses bloom and the growth of pomegranates and apricots for hundreds of years. Seeking to reap the benefits of this rich landscape, around ten years ago local farmers decided to plant olive trees. A triumphant harvest the following year rewarded their efforts, and ever since olive trees have delivered a fruitful crop annually.
The Olive Harvest Festival at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort takes place from 21 to 23 September 2023, with a daily schedule of events. These include: cooking demonstrations and storytelling with a local olive expert, joining in the olive harvest and visiting a local olive oil factory where olives are pressed. Here visitors can view the entire process of extracting the oil. Throughout the month of September, which is officially harvest season, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar will feature special dishes showcasing the local olives and olive oil at Bella Vista, its contemporary Mediterranean restaurant located on the canyon edge with spectacular views. The menu will include delicacies such as seared cod with olive tapenade and ricotta-stuffed olives. Anantara Spa will also incorporate the super ingredient in a selection of its pampering therapies. Nightly rates at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar start from £335 per night with breakfast during the Olive Festival. For further information visit www.anantara.com/en/jabal-akhdar.
Luxury Culinary Festival Returns to Southern Oman
Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara in southern Oman will once again bring together some of the world’s top Michelin starred chefs this November for its annual food festival. The five-day culinary extravaganza is the only luxury international food festival of its kind in Oman and will see chefs from the UK, Netherlands, France, Italy and UAE host five days of interactive workshops and gourmet dinners.
Held from 27 November to 1 December 2023, the Al Baleed Culinary Festival is returning to the beachside resort for the third time following its success in 2021 and 2022. This year’s highlights include UK pastry chef Claire Clark, who will be serving a high tea and Michelin starred chefs Peter Gast, Nicolas Isnard, Enrico Marmo and Grégoire Berger.
The chefs will take it in turns to each host an evening, serving a special five course menu with glass of champagne and surprise gift and a hands-on cookery workshop the following day included in the price. The five-day event will culminate in a ‘Night of Culinary Brilliance’ which will see the chefs come together to each prepare a dish for a grand finale.
The chef’s joining the food festival are:
Claire Clark MBE
Claire is creating a British high tea that will showcase her creativity and passion for pastry, served every afternoon from 3 to 6pm in open-air beachside restaurant Al Mina. Widely regarded as one of the best pastry chefs in the world, UK born Claire Clark, was awarded an MBE in 2011 in recognition of her achievements and commitment to her craft. Claire has worked in some of the very best restaurants and hotels in the world including Chef Thomas Keller’s three Michelin star restaurant, The French Laundry in California and as a senior pastry lecturer at the Cordon Bleu culinary institute.
Dutch chef Peter Gast was awarded his first Michelin star aged only 25 and today heads-up Michelin starred Graphite, a Speak Easy restaurant in Amsterdam. Peter believes in using authentic flavours and natural ingredients and his menu will be influenced by his early years as a farmer’s child, where he worked in the fields and cooked for his family.
Originally, from the south of France, Nicolas Isnard worked in many successful kitchens until 2008 when he opened his own restaurant, Auberge de la Charme á Prenois in a small Burgundy village, which received one Michelin star within a year of opening and has held onto it ever since. Nicolas has an innovative approach that combines traditional flavours of French cuisine with contemporary style.
Italian chef Enrico heads-up the kitchen at Balzi Rossi, a restaurant in the Italian Riviera, close to the boarder with France. In November 2022, the restaurant won its first Michelin star eight months after Enrico joined. Enrico expertly blends tradition with modern innovation in his cooking. With a deep respect for classic dishes, Chef Marmo adds his own twist by incorporating distinctive flavour combinations and cutting-edge cooking techniques.
A Michelin-starred French Chef and resident of the UAE, Grégoire grew up in Brittany by the sea and he quickly became accustomed to good fresh food and cooking. His menu will showcase his exceptional attention to detail in beautifully crafted, innovative dishes. His reputation as Dubai’s most acclaimed chef is built on his creative ideas, exceptional culinary techniques, and use of high-quality ingredients.
November is an excellent time to visit Salalah when the temperature is warm and sunny. Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara lies between a long, sandy private beach and a freshwater lagoon with a backdrop of the Dhofar mountains. The guest rooms include 88 one- and two-bedroom pool villas with personalised villa host services and separate living areas. The resort offers a range of authentic local experiences and has a jungle gym, water sports centre, tennis court, beach volleyball court and large infinity pool, as well as a spa.
Nightly rates at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara start from £450 during the food festival, including breakfast and taxes. Dinners range from approximately £89 per person, for a five-course menu with a glass of champagne and surprise gift. For more information visit www.anantara.com/al-baleed-salalah