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Open Fire Food Festival by Steve Harvey debuts this weekend – Here’s what to expect!

First-of-its-kind two-day event by legendary TV host to elevate Abu Dhabi’s culinary scene

The inaugural Open Fire Food Festival by Steve Harvey descends on Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, this coming weekend, featuring a stellar line-up of celebrity chefs and an action-packed schedule of pitmaster demonstrations, competitions, live music, and entertainment across the whole weekend.

Presented by MELT Middle East, a joint venture between OWS Capital and Steve Harvey Global, the Open Fire Food Festival takes place on Yas Island at Abu Dhabi Hill, Yas Marina Circuit on February 24th-25th, with tickets available to purchase starting from just AED 75.

Here’s what to expect from an event that will bring the smokin’ hot flavors of the American South to the heart of the UAE this weekend!

Celebrity chefs

The event features a star-studded line-up of celebrity chefs, set to thrill guests in attendance as they showcase their open-flame cooking skills.

Melissa Cookston

Seven-time World Barbecue Champion Melissa Cookston, who hails from Mississippi, USA, has won thousands of accolades and was the first female inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2017. She currently serves as the judge on Netflix’s Barbecue Showdown.

Moe Cason

Moe Cason, a self-taught barbecue expert and former member of the US Navy, has featured as a contestant and judge on high-profile US cooking shows such as World of Flavour With Big Moe Cason, Pitmaster’s, BBQ Pit Wars, and SMOKED.

Steven Raichlen

Steven Raichlen, meanwhile, has created and hosted several popular television shows in the US, Canada, and Italy, including Planet Barbecue®, Project Fire, and Project Smoke, while also serving as a culinary expert on the likes of Oprah along with writing more than 30 books.

The trio will be joined behind the grill by 18-year-old Aysha Al Obeidli, the youngest Emirati chef, and Fred ‘Smokin’ Beards’ Casagrande, UAE Barbecue Champion, both ambassadors for the event.

Host Harvey

Host Steve Harvey, a globally recognized presenter, actor, comedian, and producer, needs no introduction. He will be on stage to introduce celebrity chefs and make several appearances across the weekend.

AED 25K total prize pot for cooking & eating competitions!

Attendees will have a chance to showcase their BBQ skills or fill their stomachs with organizers announcing there will be a total of AED 25k to giveaway across four cooking competitions and two eating competitions – hot dog and chicken wing – across the weekend. Ticket holders will receive a registration link upon purchase to enter with limited spots available.

Cooking masterclasses

Alongside demos on the main stage from celebrity chefs, attendees can participate in cooking masterclasses! On Saturday, Cookston is set to be joined by Al Obeidli as they hold a Youth Masterclass, while Cason will stage both a Lamb Workshop and Brisket Masterclass later the same day. Other highlights include a T-Bone Workshop, hosted by Raichlen, ICCA Masterclass, and Hot Dog Eating Competition.

The following day features a Chicken Workshop hosted by Cookston and Casagrande, a Lamb Masterclass with Raichlen, and additional ICCA Masterclasses, with ICCA students assisting professional chefs with showcases across the two days. Similarly, ticket-holders will receive a registration link upon purchase to enter.

Music and entertainment

Musical performances over the weekend will be provided by the likes of award-winning DJ Natalie Brogan, Girl from the North Country, Yvonne Park, Nuvo Soul, Hot Rodney, Claudia Patrice, and DJ Dean Curtis.

Open Fire Food Festival by Steve Harvey Key Visual

Timings and tickets

The action kicks off at 12:30 pm Saturday and 12 noon Sunday, with doors opening from 10 am both days for all to enjoy the all-day entertainment running through until 10 pm!

Tickets are on sale now with prices starting from just AED 75 for standard entry, while guests can purchase a full weekend pass, saving AED 30. Tickets can also be purchased at the door with VIP tickets already sold out. Entry is free across the two days for children under the age of 12.

Tickets can be purchased via

Staff Report

The Filipino Times is the chronicler of stories for, of and by Filipinos all over the world, reaching more than 236 countries in readership. Any interesting story to share? Email us at [email protected]

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