Are you a foodie?  Are you surrounded by exotic cuisine that you would love to taste, if only it was Halal? Well then, Allah has answered your plea with Halal Food Fest! Halal Food Fest started right here in Mississauga, and it is a GTA event where Halal food makes itself visibly apparent. This is the event you need to go to if you want to get recipes for amazing Halal food (or just free samples). So have an appetizer of Halal food fest with Salima Jivraj, the founder of Halal Food Fest, and get ready for the main course on June 14th and 15th.

logo_foldedMYVoice: What started this event?

halal-food-fest-logoSalima Jivraj: I run a website called halalfoodie.ca, and approximately 2 ½ years ago, I figured we needed an event to showcase the great halal food options that we have in our community.

logo_foldedMV: What exactly happens at Halal Food Fest?

halal-food-fest-logoSJ: We broke off the Festival into different areas. The main focus is called sample city where the main area is filled with over 100 sampling stations. There are 3 stages; the first one is the community kitchen stage, where we host live demonstrations all day. Then we have the main stage which is meant for speakers and performances, but we also have panel discussions with different scholars about questions from the halal spectrum. Then we have the outdoor stage for outdoor activities. We also have an outdoor grill festival; it’s like your mainstream rib fest except it’s all halal. We then have what we call the shop and it contains non-food products. You eat. You shop. You watch. All day.

logo_foldedMV: Who were the people, who started it all?

halal-food-fest-logoSJ: It came up from my website. I had the idea of the festival and I took it to my husband. With his background in sales and shop management, mine in marketing, and our shared passion for food, with our combined skills we thought we could do it.

logo_foldedMV: Does it also include non-Muslims?

halal-food-fest-logoSJ: Yes absolutely, last year we had a great turnout! Actually, we had collected data from our attendees; we had a very high rate of non-Muslims and many different ethnicities, so it wasn’t really just one type of group. And we’re really happy about that.

logo_foldedWould you like to say anything to our readers?

halal-food-fest-logoSJ: Come out early, have a great time, and enjoy the day. We have both indoor and outdoor spaces, and a place for all ages, we try to make it so that everybody has a really good time. We hope to see you there.

Well, all this talk about food sure made us hungry. But seriously, who doesn’t want to go now? Halal Food Fest is a chance to gather and celebrate food pride, and not just any food pride, but Halal food pride.

We hope to see you there foodies!

[custom_author=Duha Al Nadvi]

[custom_author=Aisha Hyder]

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