Lao Food Festival Attracts Hungry Visitors

Laos Food Festival 2014
The ninth Lao Food Festival officially opened yesterday at the National Cultural Hall in Vientiane to exhibit a variety of foods and products from around the country and promote women’s businesses.

Government officials and guests enjoyed looking at and tasting food from across the spectrum of Lao cuisine and perusing the products on display at the 71 booths occupied by women’s businesses, of which 23 are from the provinces.

The three-day festival will continue until Saturday, January 18.

The focus will be on introducing more obscure Lao foods from the provinces and encouraging local and foreign visitors to try them.

Lao Businesswomen Association Vice President, Ms Chanthachone Vongsay, said the purpose of the festival was to facilitate women sharing their experiences in running a business and finding unique, niche markets. The festival is being organised in collaboration with the Lao Women’s Union.

This festival is different to previous ones in that there will be a focus on foods that symbolise the cuisines of different communities and provinces.

There will be foods on display that are rarely seen in Vientiane, which people will have an opportunity to taste and buy.

Before the opening ceremony Ms Chanthachone presented certificates to thank the event’s sponsors for their support.

Then a ribbon was cut to officially open the event and guests began exploring the stalls.

Visitors are able to taste foods before committing to buy them. They also have a chance to meet Miss Laos 2013 up close and have a picture taken with her.

The festival will run from 9am – 9pm each day to give as many shoppers as possible time to visit and support women’s business.

One of the festival’s highlights was a laap-cooking competition yesterday with contestants from Luang Namtha, Oudomxay, Huaphan, Xieng Khuang, Khammuan, Savannakhet and Champassak provinces battling it out to cook the best version of the classic Lao dish.

Chefs from Xieng Khuang and Luang Namtha provinces won the first prize of 1 million kip and a certificate. The Luang Namtha team cooked laap mou sai mak kok (laap with pork and olives) while the Xieng Khuang team made laap nok aen (laap with swallow meat).

The runner-up received 500,000 kip and a certificate.

Ms Chanthachone urged members of the public to come along to support women’s business and taste some unforgettable Lao food.

She thanked the Lao Brewery Company for sponsoring the event and providing Beerlao during the festival, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation for their sponsorship of women’s businesses from seven provinces and the Lao Telecommunication public company for donating 5 million kip in support of the event.

lao-food-festival-2014

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Vientiane Times, KPL News
17 January, 2014