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 a number of Lebanese chefs who have promoted Lebanese cuisine worldwide, namely: 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 decision-makers, senior 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.
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 famed chefs, including Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Alan Geaam, as well as award-winning Lebanese chefs Antonio Bachour and Philip Khoury.
Alongside the masterclasses, the HORECA Stage shone a bright light on the skills of junior chefs and bartenders 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. Out of the 46 entries, the advisory board selected 25 products to be put on display at the event. The creators of the products were awarded for their ingenuity.
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 take place from April 23-26, 2024.