If you grew up in Islamabad without being called “boring” or hear your friends & cousins from other cities call Islamabad “a dead city” or socially inactive & blah blah you probably never actually lived in Islamabad.
I remember growing up here and every summers when relatives from other cities would come over and constantly remind us “what a boring place”, “how you guys live here anyway” or “see our Lahore is very happening” and this would go on. As a matter of fact we never really cared much about this or may be Islamabad had this “dead city vibe” till recent past.
But as they say the only thing constant is change. Things are changing moving and happening. Gone are the days when we used to ‘secretly envy’ Lahore and Karachi for all the parties, get together, concerts, literature festivals and last but not the least food festivals. Food is another stereotype about Islamabad. Okay fine we never had as much interest in Food as Lahoris or Karachiiets. Then again, this stereotype is also fading away with increasing trend of foodprenuership, opening up of outlets (Naan shops and chai dhabas) and franchises of renowned food brands across the capital.
In recent past, Islamabad has observed a paradigm shift in terms of all this non-foodie, non-happening and being boring stuff. King Food Festival is a testimonial to this fact. Organizers did an extremely good job there. Bringing foodprenuers together, giving them a platform and Islooites a chance to demonstrate their love for food. Samei, a member of the organizer’s team was quoted as saying:
“We had a very set criteria to consider the event a success. If our guests walk out of the festival happy and satisfied, then the event would be considered successful. And after calling for feedback from the people on Facebook, we realized that no amount of sales and support promotions can bring us the love and support that the people have shown. We are all proud Islamabadians today”
I saw this event on Facebook and wondered how would it turn out I mean its about food, who organizes food festivals in Islamabad. But oh boy, Islamabad did turn out. It was a calm Saturday evening in F-9 Park Islamabad, I, out of curiosity visited the place with my family and loved it. Apart from food the overall experience was pretty good. People enjoyed gossiping, variety of food nice setup for families to spend some good time, show their “Love for Food” by commenting on the brand wall, loved those beautiful hanging frames and took pictures, another attraction was the picture booth where Game of thrones theme was very nicely put, followed by Khumariyan’s performance later that evening.
Other than renowned brands like Subway, people actually loved trying out local startups like Ammi ke parathay & Nutella Bar, there were a total of about 40 food outlets present there. All in all I had a good weekend visiting King food festival. Local startups add some delicious food options to our choice list and festivals like these serve as the right platform for potential foodpreneurs to try their idea out. It goes without commending efforts of the organizers because event was very well managed hassle free from a family event’s point of view.