Saudi Crown Prince Camel Cup to be launched in the southwestern city of Taif

Under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Arabian Camels Federation announced the launch of the Crown Prince Camel Festival from Aug. 11 to Sept. 2 in Taif.
Updated 27 June 2018

Saudi Crown Prince Camel Cup to be launched in the southwestern city of Taif

JEDDAH: Under the patronage of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Arabian Camels Federation announced the launch of the Crown Prince Camel Festival from Aug. 11 to Sept. 2 in Taif, southwestern Saudi Arabia.
Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the board of directors of Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority (GSA), thanked the crown prince for his patronage as part of the leadership’s interests in the state’s different sectors. These interests seek to achieve the success of local and international events through the support of programs, championships and events.
Local and international camel owners will be competing for prizes of a total of SR45 million ($11,998,800).
Prince Fahd bin Abdul Aziz bin Musaed, president of the Saudi Arabian Camels Federation and president of the organizing committee of the Crown Prince Festival, said that the festival will be held in Taif, given the historic importance of the Taif field and its good weather conditions during summer.
Other events for families will accompany the festival, aiming to attract an audience in general and camel sports fans in particular.
Prince Fahd said that special preparations had already started, given the importance of the event that carries the crown prince’s name and the ambitions of camel owners and fans internationally.
He urged all participants to commit to the regulations and conditions of the committee.
The Crown Prince Camel Cup aims to highlight the camel heritage and promote it within the Saudi, Arab and Islamic culture.
It also aims to generate economic revenues through organizing a diverse sport, economic and cultural festival that promotes participation, entrenches legacy, spreads nationalism and reflects the heritage depth of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Arabian Camels Federation will announce the full program on Saturday.


LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

Updated 15 December 2019

LA Italian eatery Madeo delights the palate in Riyadh Season pop-up

  • Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one

RIYADH: Renowned Italian restaurant Madeo has opened up in Al-Murabba for Riyadh Season. 

The pop-up has started brightly, and head chef Gianni Vietina invited Arab News to sample the menu and chat about his experience.

Vietina, in Saudi Arabia for the first time, said that he loved the location he had set up in, and was very happy to be opening up in the Kingdom. 

“The location is gorgeous. At night, with all the lights on, the music going, it’s very nice.”

Despite minor setbacks he faced while setting up, Vietina considers the experience to be a positive one and that the response was even better than he had expected. 

“Like anything new, you have quests, you have problems. Up to now, we’re doing pretty good. We are up and running. We’re comfortable now, which is a shame as we’re leaving pretty soon,” he said.

He added that he would repeat the experience in a heartbeat if he could: “They were nice enough to ask me to stay in Saudi a little longer, but I can’t. I need to go back home. But I would love to come back.”

He said that while he was not planning to open up a permanent restaurant in Saudi Arabia, he would not rule it out completely.  “I’ve been offered options, and friends have offered to show me locations while I’m here, but I can’t do it right now, I just opened a new restaurant two months ago,” he said.

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like.”

Gianni Vietina, Head chef of Madeo

The pop-up’s menu contains most of what the original restaurant offers, including his ever-popular penne amadeo and spaghetti bolognese, with the chefs using a combination of imported and locally sourced ingredients. 

“I chose the dishes that I know that most of the Saudis that visit my restaurant in Los Angeles like,” he told Arab News.

For the pop-up, Vietina has stuck to using halal and alcohol-free ingredients. 

“It was challenging at the beginning. But the bolognese at Amadeo doesn’t contain pork, and I realized after we tried cooking without wine that almost nothing changed. I actually prefer it,” he said.

Madeo is a favorite of Saudis visiting Los Angeles, with Vietina going so far as to describe the restaurant as a “Little Riyadh” on most evenings between July and September. 

He even recognizes some of the customers who have come into the Riyadh pop-up, and always stops over to greet them.

Upon sampling the menu, it’s easy to see why the food at Madeo has remained popular all these years. 

The eggplant parmigiana is a perfect blend of crusty cheese and silky smooth eggplant, with hints of basil and rosemary. 

The bolognese is rich, meaty and decadent, without being too heavy and greasy. And the penne Amadeo, which Vietina has been eating since his childhood, is a timeless classic of crushed tomato, basil, finished off with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano for a creamy, rich flavor.