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UK's first ever 3-day Halal Food Festival to be held in London from Sept 27

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IMO News Service

London: UK’s first and world’s largest Halal Food Festival will be held at London Excel from 27th to 29th September 2013. The three-day consumer food show is dedicated to foodies, who eat halal or haloodies, as they have been coined by the festival founder.

Aiming to celebrate the range and diversity of halal foods from around the world the ticketed event will offer visitors a never seen before glimpse into the very best that halal has to offer.

Visitors can look forward to over 100 exhibitors from across the globe showcasing the most innovative and delicious halal food and drink products, restaurants and street food stalls as well as a cooking school and live demonstration kitchen featuring top chefs such as Shelina Permalloo (winner of Masterchef UK 2012), Cyrus Todiwala OBE (Patron Chef of Cafe Spice Namaste) and Jean Christopher Novelli (5 out of 5 AA rosette and Michelin award winning chef) to name a few.

Guests can tuck in to daring and innovative dishes such as green spiced chicken fenugreek or Bengali mutton by Joho Soho, meaning 'whatever happens'. The new Indian street food stall is being launched at the Halal Food Festival by acclaimed chef Vivek Singh (Executive Chef at Cinnamon Kitchen, Cinnamon Soho and Cinnamon Club) and Abdul Yaseen (Head Chef at Cinnamon Kitchen). Alternatively they can try their taste buds on sweeter options such as fine Palestinian mejdool dates, stuffed with organic fairtrade nuts and topped with rosebuds by the Datelatiers. The thirsty will find a range of halal drinks on offer including an area dedicated to the making of mocktails in which guests can throw together exotic ingredients, fruit juices and flavours to create their own expertly made drink under the guidance of a professional mixologist and a range of stands for little haloodies to enjoy too.

Accompanying these gustatory pleasures will be live music on the Human Appeal stage with performances including that of one of the biggest stars of nasheed and Islamic music, Mesut Kurtis. His latest album 'Beloved' has been a ground-breaking phenomenon in this genre of music across the Muslim world.

Halal is an Arabic word meaning lawful or permissible. It not only covers food and drink but also all matters of daily life. Followers of Islam (Muslims) must follow a dietary requirement that does not permit pork or pork products, alcohol and only allows meat slaughtered in accordance to strict guidelines in the Qur'an. Halal food is not a cuisine or a style of cooking in its own right. Therefore any cuisine or style can become halal provided it is cooked using halal ingredients and prepared in a halal manner.

With a growing UK Muslim population currently standing at 2.7million (Census 2011) with a £20.5 billion a year spending power (Mintel 2002) and expected to rise to 5.5million people by 2030 (Pew Report, The Future of the Global Muslim Population 2011) access to delicious halal food in the UK is becoming increasingly important. It is improving the range, availability and quality of halal foods and restaurants that drives the Halal Food Festival’s founder Imran Kausar.

Imran Kausar says, “The growing British Muslim middle-classes have greater needs and demands from food producers, retailers and restaurateurs and command significant spending power. The Halal Food Festival will bring together consumers and businesses in a festival format that can be used to showcase new brands and to raise the range and quality of halal offerings to the consumer.”

Noman Khawaja, Events Director adds “The Halal Food Festival sets a new standard in food shows aimed at Muslims in the UK. The range of chefs, features, exhibitors and production quality will leave haloodies eager for the show each year.”
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