Medan, North Sumatra (ANTARA) - A chef from Qatar, Hassan Abdullah Alibrahim, said that he felt inspired by a visit to Petisah Market in Medan city, North Sumatra, where he got see a variety of vegetables, fruits, and spices.

His visit was organized on Sunday as part of the Qatar-Indonesia 2023 Year of Culture program.

"I got inspired on what to cook. Maybe I will make food that combines Qatari and Indonesian cultures," Alibrahim told ANTARA at Petisah Market here on Sunday.

The vegetables, fruits, and spices sold at Petisah Market are unique and interesting, he observed. He admitted that he had never even tried some of them.

For that reason, Alibrahim, who was accompanied by a well-known Qatari chef, Noof Ali Marri, bought some spices to take home, one of which was andaliman (Zanthoxylum acanthopodium).

They also tasted several fruits sold at the market, for example, tamarillos and mangoes.

"The taste is very interesting. This is a good experience for me. As a chef, I really like visiting traditional places like this and seeing the goods sold there," he said.

Related news: Qatari chef visits Papua to observe sago making

During their visit, Alibrahim and Marri were accompanied by Indonesian chef Arsyan Dwianto who was the third-place winner in the ninth season of MasterChef Indonesia.

Santhi Serad, the program coordinator of Iftar and Culinary Journey Qatar-Indonesia and one of the founders of the I Love Indonesian Food (ACMI) community, also joined them.

Serad said she took the two Qatari chefs to traditional markets like Petisah Market so that they could observe the regional cooking culture—in this case, North Sumatra’s—first-hand.

"To observe the characteristics of the cuisine, spices, and natural potential in a region, we have to go to the traditional market," she added.

The annual cultural program Qatar-Indonesia 2023 Year of Culture is being carried out in three regions, namely Papua (from June 19–24, 2023), Medan, North Sumatra (June 24–26), and Bali (June 27–July 2).

In Medan, the chefs took part in a series of activities, such as the visit to Petisah Market, a cooking workshop at Medan 14 Vocational School, and cooking traditional Batak snacks at the home of a local resident.

Related news: Introducing sago worldwide through Qatar-Indonesia Year of Culture

Translator: Michael Siahaan, Raka Adji
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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