Prague Food Festival celebrates diversity of food now on offer in Czech capital


The second Prague Food Festival gets underway on Friday. This event aims to give Prague residents a chance to sample the best food on offer in their city for reasonable prices.

By buying a ticket for the festivals, Czech foodies will be able to sample a range of expensive specialities from the country's most exclusive restaurants for just a fraction of what they normally cost.

As usual the participating restaurants have been chosen to reflect the sheer diversity of cuisine that is now on offer in Prague, whose culinary prowess has come on in leaps and bounds since the Velvet Revolution.

The festival was set up last year by the well known Czech gourmet Pavel Maurer, who compiles one of the country's best known restaurant guides.

In addition to giving people a chance to sample some fine dining, he says this year's event also has a wide range of accompanying activities, which will pass on some practical culinary knowledge to people who are interested in food:

"We've decided to add something new to the festival this year, so we'll have a special beer show, which will offer beer tastings and have experts giving advice on which beers go best with certain foods.

"We'll also have cooking demonstrations like the kind you see on telvision with Jamie Oliver. These demonstrations will be held every day and the best chefs with the most training will be sharing the secrets of their art during this cooking show."

One of the chefs who will be giving a demonstration is Andrea Accordi head chef of the renowned Allegro restaurant, which this year won the first-ever Michelin star in eastern Europe.

He says he thinks events like the Prague Food Festival help highlight the massive progress that is being made in the Czech restaurant industry and in the standard of Czech cooking in general:

"If you look back on the history of Prague and the Czech Republic, you see that this place had a wonderful cuisine. If you look at old Czech cookbooks, you can see that they are full of really interesting cooking.

"This was all lost after communism. Now, though, it's coming back again, thanks to all the cooks, especially Czech cooks, who are bringing back the old traditions and combining them with the other experiences they've gained elsewhere to make beautiful dishes. I believe Prague will known all over Europe for its food in a few years."

Last year, more than 8000 people attended the Prague Food Festival and the event's organisers are hopeful that it will be even bigger this year.

Just like the culinary renaissance that is now happening in the Czech capital, Pavel Maurer says he hopes that the Prague Food Festival can go from strength to strength in the coming years and become a permanent fixture on the city's cultural calendar.

"I feel it could be one of those other attractions that might be interesting for visitors to Prague. For instance, you have the Prague Spring festival, which is about music, and rock festivals and art festivals, and so on. I think that cooking is also a kind of art. So this can become a festival of the art of Prague's best chefs."

The 2008 Prague Food Festival starts on Friday, 20 June and it runs until Sunday 22 June. You can get more details at