The latest edition of HORECA Lebanon, held from April 25-28, 2023, ended on a high note, with more than 12,000 visitors, 160 exhibitors and 100 international culinary experts gathered over four days at Beirut’s Seaside Arena.
The opening day of HORECA Lebanon on April 25 welcomed a wide range of prominent figures from the industry, including Lebanese Minister of Tourism, H.E. Walid Nassar, ambassadors, presidents of associations, media representatives, and celebrity chefs. H.E. Nassar presented awards to Lebanese chefs who have made significant contributions in promoting Lebanese cuisine worldwide by flying the Lebanese flag high. The list of award winners were: Antonio Bachour, Alan Geaam, Philip Khoury, Joe Barza, Maroun Chedid, Charles Azar, Youssef Akiki, Samaan Hilal, Hussein Hadid, Cynthia Bitar, Pierre Abi Hayla, Aline Kamakian, Souheil Ghazal, Tarek Alameddine, Rodi Rizk, Simon Manoukian, Dany Khairallah, Georges Dakkak, and Sleiman Khawand.
Under the theme “Connect. Be Inspired. Explore,” the renowned trade show attracted high-level decision makers, professionals, beverage experts, hospitality leaders and buyers. Discussions on the latest innovations and trends in the hospitality and foodservice industries were held during the four-day event, which encouraged positive dialog and change.
More than 30 buyers from Europe and beyond were invited to HORECA to discover the newest products and promote Lebanese production across the world. The Hosted Buyers’ Program was organized in collaboration with the Association of Lebanese Industrialists (ALI), which is working hard to boost exports from Lebanon.
Reflecting on the event, Joumana Dammous-Salamé, managing director of Hospitality Services, said: “We have worked hard to put together this special edition, celebrating the essence of Lebanese hospitality built on agility, creativity, hard work and a will to survive. We would like to honor the achievements of our peers and our determination to reimagine the industry of tomorrow. We can achieve great things when we move together.”
In addition to the exhibition area, this year’s event included:
- HORECA Talks: more than 20 sessions with over 100 speakers. The talks addressed the latest industry trends, as well as challenges and opportunities for Lebanese companies. Panelists included hoteliers, restaurateurs, chefs and tourism experts.
- HORECA Stage: hosting competitions, masterclasses and sessions with renowned local and international guests. The culinary masterclasses and Q&A sessions were held with renowned chefs, including Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Alan Geaam, as well as award-winning Lebanese chefs Antonio Bachour and Philip Khoury.
Aside from masterclasses, the HORECA Stage shone a bright light on the skills of junior chefs and bartenders who are studying hospitality management. In addition, the Latte Art and Lebanon Coffee in Good Spirits competitions were held for professionals.
- HORECA Innovations: a pavilion featuring innovative products and locally made substitutes. An exclusive advisory board selected the best brands. Out of the 46 entries, the advisory board selected 25 winners who were awarded for their innovations.
- HORECA Theatre: a platform for Lebanese chefs to conduct masterclasses and tastings. The sessions showcased an array of themes, such as desserts infused with local flavors, the incorporation of wild herbs into dishes, a blend of Lebanese and Spanish cuisine, unique garnishing techniques for pear desserts, delectable bonbon pralines and pastry pies, the story of Lebanese grapes, and a contemporary twist on signature local dishes.
The 28th edition of HORECA Lebanon will be taking place April 23-26, 2024.