Features

#FEEDMEFESTIVAL: Sri Lanka’s first home chef food festival

#FEEDMEFESTIVAL is Colombo’s newest food festival. A carefully curated festival of home chefs and small food businesses showcasing the passion and creativity of Sri Lanka’s home chefs, #FEEDMEFESTIVAL is set to take place on Sunday, 30 August at Prana Lounge in Colombo 7.

The #FEEDMEFESTIVAL is organised by best friends Rayhana Jiffry and Shifani Mahroof to foster and promote the many home chefs and small food businesses that started or thrived during Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 lockdown.

Speaking on how the idea for #FEEDMEFESTIVAL came to be, Rayhana shared that during the lockdown, Facebook pages like Grocery Delivery-Info saw a lot of homecooks and businesses starting up and offering their services through the page. Rayhana herself was inspired to start Colombo Eatery, an online food business specialising in sugar-free chocolate biscuit pudding.

“I noticed a decline on the page post lockdown. Normally, a post was met with immediate sales in the comments, but this was becoming less and less frequent,” Rayhana commented.

After seeing Shifani being inspired to make a cheesecake for a mutual friend’s birthday, Rayhana threw around the idea of bringing these small home chefs and businesses together and giving them an opportunity to sell and get their names out there.

Combining Rayhana’s experience in digital marketing (she is the owner of the online jewellery brand Glitteray) and Shifani’s organisational and administrative skills (she is a partner of the rapidly growing IT company Negete which specialises in the hospitality industry), the #FEEDMEFESTIVAL was formed.

From Left: Shifani Mahroof, Rayhana Jiffry

An initial post on Facebook yielded an overwhelming 75 responses, leading Rayhana and Shifani to limit the #FEEDMEFESTIVAL to a total of 21 vendors, who they carefully vetted, choosing to showcase only businesses that had started up during the lockdown or businesses that had started previously but ceased operations for one reason or another before starting up again mid-lockdown. Rayhana and Shifani also looked at the stories behind the businesses and their wonders when curating the festival.

The #FEEDMEFESTIVAL will feature 21 vendors split across two halls at Prana Lounge as “savouries” and “desserts”. The #FEEDMEFESTIVAL has also received public health inspector (PHI) approval and will be following Covid-19 health and safety guidelines to the letter for the safety of their vendors and their guests. This edition of #FEEDMEFESTIVAL will be takeaway only, with all vendors taking the necessary food and health safety precaution. #FEEDMEFESTIVAL is a family-friendly event with interactive photobooths and other activities in addition to a delectable array of food for every member of the family, varying from biscuit puddings, eclairs, cakes, and cupcakes to biryani, savouries, pizza, and many more!

The vendors showcasing at #FEEDMEFESTIVAL are Whisk It, Bake & Flake, Dogolicious, Pizza D’ Zoya, Second Serving, I-Scream, Sugar Royale, A&A Homemade Good Food, The Sweet Lane, The Coco Shell, Dutch Burgher Kitchen, Spoonful, The Backup Plan, Foodtopia, Yes, We Cake, Nezkitchen, Rozy’s Kitchen, Bai Veetu Biriyani, Off the Wok!, Fine Dine at Home, and Safi’s.

Rayhana and Shifani have also carefully curated their partners and sponsors, reaching out to brands that are relevant to #FEEDMEFESTIVAL’s vision. The #FEEDMEFESTIVAL has a partnership with SAASH PHOTOGRAPHY, a pair of photographers who turned their passion into a business following the aftermath of 2019 Easter Sunday attacks. #FEEDMEFESTIVAL has also partnered with digital print solutions provider Anim8. The logo design partnership was formed with Emenze, a creative individual who started freelancing due to the difficulties he faced from the Covid-19 lockdown.

#FEEDMEFESTIVAL takes place on Sunday, 30 August at Prana Lounge, Colombo 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.