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Lao Food Festival returns to titillate jaded tastebuds

The annual Lao Food Festival will return to Vientiane this month, providing local residents with some much-needed entertainment in an otherwise largely empty calendar.
The popular festival will take place at the usual open-air riverside location at Chao Anouvong Park in Chanthabouly district, and will run for five days from January 25-29.
The event will feature about 120 stalls selling food produced by cooks from around Laos, as well as food that is typical of some of the countries with embassies in Laos.
A huge variety of tempting food and drinks will be on sale, as well as handicrafts and agricultural produce.
The aim of the festival is to familiarise people with Laos’ varied traditional cuisine by displaying food that is typical of most of the country’s provinces, while also giving women the chance to promote their businesses.
A press conference to announce the event took place at the K&C building in Vientiane on Wednesday, attended by members of the organising committee, sponsors, and other people involved in the festival.
President of the Lao Businesswomen’s Association, Mrs Chanthachone Vongsay, will preside over the festival, which has been held annually since 2006.
This year, the event will again remind people of the need to preserve Laos’ indigenous cuisine and to raise the profile of food as a vital part of Lao culture.
“The festival is also an opportunity to support businesswomen and promote their work as well as enabling women involved in crop production, livestock, restaurants and other food-related services from Vientiane and the provinces to display and sell their products,” Mrs Chanthachone said.
“We want to create a supporting atmosphere for Laos’ businesswomen as well as allow the general public to buy and sell food.”
“The event enables women from across the country to build networks and strengthen their connections so they are encouraged to improve quality and even sell their goods online.”
“It’s a great opportunity for young women, especially those wanting to run their own business, to exhibit their products and make them known amongst the general public.”
“It’s also an occasion to welcome visitors, who will return to Laos this month now that the government has reopened the country to foreign tourists.”
“To ensure that everyone stays safe, the organising committee will strictly enforce the Covid-19 prevention rules, although the festival will otherwise take place as normal. All exhibitors and their staff must be fully vaccinated and every day we will check everyone’s temperature before they enter the event. We will also provide free hand sanitiser and face masks.”
“We will make sure that stalls, and tables and chairs to seat visitors, are placed at a safe distance apart,” Mrs Chanthachone said.
As well as the food exhibition, the event will feature a cooking competition, organic food exhibition, business talks, and product promotion.
Staff from the Lao Inter Clinic will be on hand to provide free health checks.
The opening ceremony will start at 8am on January 25 and will be attended by government officials, members of the diplomatic corps and other guests.

By Visith Teppalath
 (Latest Update January 7, 2022)

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