Inaugural Rice Festival launches today

Inaugural Rice Festival launches today

Over three thousand types of rice are grown in Cambodia according to the Federation of Cambodian Rice Exporters, and today sees the launch of a new festival celebrating the best varieties.

The First Cambodian Rice Festival takes place at Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort and promises rice games, displays from six different provinces, dance performances, rice history, a best rice competition, a cookery demonstration and food tastings.

The free festival continues throughout the day and is the brainchild of Sofitel general manager Fabrice Ducry.

“Wherever I go I try to find something related to the place that I can share with our guests,” he said. “When I arrived here I saw the rice fields everywhere round Siem Reap and I had this at the back of my mind. I just needed to find the right twist to put it together.”

Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort general manager Fabrice Ducry gears up for the Rice Fest.​​
Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort general manager Fabrice Ducry gears up for the Rice Fest.​​ MIRANDA GLASSER

Ducry had the idea of an educational exhibition, now running in the hotel lobby until next month. But following Cambodia’s success at the TRT World Rice Conference, where Cambodia Jasmine Rice won the 2012 World’s Best Rice category, Ducry and his fellow organisers decided to introduce a competition element.

“We thought we could do an exhibition where all the rice millers can come and present and have a tasting,” he said. “We have four different types of rice and 12-15 different rice millers will present in each category. The idea is that in the morning we’ll have the blind tastings, done by chefs from the Cambodia Restaurant Association from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.”

Activities start at 10am with a ‘krab dance’, a traditional Khmer folk dance followed by a cooking demonstration by celebrity chef Luu Meng, owner of the acclaimed Malis restaurant in Phnom Penh and co-star with UK TV chef Gordon Ramsay on his 2011 Gordon’s Great Escape series.

There will also be an opportunity for the public to taste some of the dishes.

After ‘chrot srov,’ a rice harvest dance, there will be a welcome speech by a representative from the Federation of Cambodian Rice Exporters. This will be followed by speeches by the French ambassador Serge Mostura, European Union ambassador Jean-Francois Cautain, Secretary of State for the Ministry of Commerce Pan Sorasak and Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism.

Finally, the best rice winners will be announced in each category.

Ducry said that the rice-milling process is fascinating and hopes that in time tourists might be able to see it for themselves.

MOST VIEWED

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • We’re going to Wisney World!

    More than 6,000 mostly Chinese attendees witnessed the inauguration ceremony of a $1 billion Sihanoukville resort project called Wisney World in the capital on Wednesday. The event on Koh Pich, attended by several senior Cambodian government officials, is a joint venture between China’s AMC International and

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,

  • Gov’t continues China tilt as ties with the US slide on ‘interference’ in Kingdom’s internal affairs

    CHINA has granted some $131 million in aid to the Cambodian military. It comes as yet another sign that the Kingdom is strengthening strategic ties with its Asian neighbour to counter increasingly cold relations with the United States. The aid was announced as part of a