First Italian female chef for Saudi food festival

Francesca Simoni at Italian Food Festival in Rosewood Corniche, Jeddah

Italy's Francesca Simoni is looking to dazzle Rosewood Corniche guests from 15 to 30 January 2014 at Habsburg.
Italy's Francesca Simoni is looking to dazzle Rosewood Corniche guests from 15 to 30 January 2014 at Habsburg.

The third edition of the Italian Food Festival in the Rosewood Corniche, Jeddah will feature Bologna's chef Francesca Simoni overseeing operations at the hotel's restaurant, Habsburg, in co-ordination with executive chef Maurizio.

The aim is to provide guests with authentic cuisine from the region of Emilia Romagna in Italy.

“Words cannot express my excitement and pride of being the first female Italian chef taking part in a leading festivity in Jeddah," said Simoni.

"This is my first experience in the Middle East, and I am glad it will start from the heart of the Arabian Peninsula."

She added: "With a professional and skilled team such as Habsburg’s, I am sure this year’s edition will be another success to add to the festival’s history. We have prepared a diverse and rich menu for our guests, and I cannot wait to receive all of them at Habsburg."

Simoni currently works for  the restaurant Amerigo 1934 Trattoria, which recently won the Gambero Rosso Award for the best restaurant in Italy for 2013.

Amegrio 1934 Trattoria has supplied the Habsburg team with the ingredients needed for the Italian Food Festival menu, from extra virgin olive oil to authentic cheese selections and row pasta varieties.

Rosewood Corniche managing director Hans-Peter Leitzke said: “The idea behind the Italian Food Festival is to offer Rosewood Corniche guests a unique and true Italian experience in the heart of the Kingdom.

“We wanted to offer something new to our guests while remaining reliable to the Italian traditional gastronomy. The best way to do this is through introducing them to the Amelia Romagna flavours that chef Francesca excels”.

The event is sponsored by Qatar Airways, Okaz newspaper, Saudi Gazette newspaper,, Mix Fm radio, Acqua Panna, and S. Pellegrino. Diners at the Italian Food Festival will have the chance to enter a daily lucky draw to win prizes including flights courtesy of Qatar Airways, iPad minis from or overnight stays for two in Rosewood Corniche.

The two week event will take place from January 15-30, 2014, and guests can dine each evening from 7 pm to midnight for USD $53.32 (SAR 200) per person.


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