Unbox Marketing – the Phnom Penh-based boutique advertising and creative agency – and leading real estate developer the Overseas Cambodian Investment Corporation (OCIC) on November 3 signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the launch of NhamFesta.
The Kingdom's biggest Asian food festival is to take place from December 8-31, 2023 in Phnom Penh, at The Elysee, Koh Pich, with NhamFesta aiming to promote food and tourism in Cambodia, while providing visitors with a unique experience.
"OCIC and Unbox Marketing are delighted to share the same vision and purpose in this partnership. Our passion lies in creating new experiences, offering unique opportunities and enhancing the lifestyles of Cambodians, expats and tourists.
"I am excited to bring NhamFesta to life. With this festival, we strongly believe we can widely promote Khmer cuisine, and play a vital role in building the food and beverage community while supporting local businesses," said Oung Chakriya, event organiser and founder of Unbox Marketing.
Mean Sonyta – the famous Cambodian model and actress known as the "Queen of Krama" – and NhamFesta’s Ambassador, with the 12-day event, being held every Friday to Sunday, to showcase the diverse cuisines, flavours and culinary traditions of Cambodia and other ASEAN countries.
And Thierry Tea, Vice President of OCIC, said the "vibrant" NhamFesta event on Koh Pich would "further enhance the district".
"OCIC Group is pleased to support Nham Festa as part of our mission to contribute to promoting cultural exchange, including Khmer, regional and international cuisines.
"NhamFesta at The Elysee, Koh Pich is a result of the collaborative efforts of OCIC Group and Unbox Marketing to bring another vibrant series of events on Koh Pich in 2023 to further enhance the district.
"With its regular hosting of concerts and other entertainment events, and especially now at the peak of wedding season, Koh Pich is growing in popularity among younger people, local leisure seekers and the expat community.
"This enhances both the lifestyle and customer experience, not only for the 15,000 residents within Koh Pich, but also for the wider community of Phnom Penh, who view the district as a vibrant urban oasis where one can live, work and play," said Thierry Tea.
And NhamFesta promises to captivate attendees with cultural performances, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, concerts and numerous other entertainment activities to create an immersive and unforgettable experience.
There are also a number of very special guests lined up, including singers Mr Tena and Mr Manith, and Charles Calvino Hang, the Cambodian-American who came 12th in season 13 of the US version of MasterChef.
Providing a unique opportunity for chefs, food vendors and food enthusiasts to come together and indulge in a wide range of dishes, NhamFesta aims to not only promote cultural exchange, but also increase awareness and appreciation of Asian cuisine.
Furthermore, as a catalyst for tourism promotion and community engagement, while providing support for businesses within the local food industry, the festival is set to play a pivotal role in fostering growth and development.
The festival will be unlike any other food event, said NhamFesta organiser Chakriya Oung.
"We want to promote Khmer food much more widely, especially to international tourists and expatriates, so we will have lots of food booths offering a wide variety of dishes.
"What makes us unique from other food festivals and food tasting events is that our team is rich in experience – we have a clear plan, so visitors can expect to experience just what they have heard about.
"Setting NhamFesta apart from other food events is, as we understand that our visitors will want to taste and experience new things, we offer choice.
"And we are not only offering variety, we also want them to enjoy the food in a unique way, so we are providing nice seating, spots for photographing and areas for relaxing," she said.
Mean Sonyta, the "Queen of Krama", spoke of her enthusiasm at joining the collaboration as NhamFesta ambassador.
"I am dedicated to promoting Khmer culture, especially the art of cooking, and NhamFesta will provide a fantastic opportunity to showcase Khmer food.
"It will also serve as an exhibition of the culinary arts of the ASEAN region, allowing foreigners to discover and appreciate our vibrant culinary traditions," said the major figure in the Cambodian entertainment industry since 2009.
Chakriya Oung said having celebrities such as the "Queen of Krama" and Charles Calvino Hang on board would be "another level" in the promotion of Khmer food.
"I believe the presence of the famous actress and model Mean Sonyta will take the promotion of Cambodian cuisine to another level.
"And as well as Mean Sonyta, we also invited chef and food influencer Charles Calvino Hang, who came in the Top 12 in the US MasterChef.
"His videos have gone viral recently, so I am positive that he will greatly contribute to promoting Cambodia food to his fans around the globe," she said.
The founder of Unbox Marketing added that there would be strong focus on food hygiene, and health and safety.
"We carried out a lot of research before starting NhamFest, with the importance of health and hygiene heavily stressed in our surveys.
"All our vendors will adhere to the highest standards of food preparation, and wear masks, aprons and gloves.
"With everything NhamFesta has to offer, I believe this event will help greatly promote Cambodian food and tourism, and provide a needed boost for local businesses after the Covid-19 pandemic," said Chakriya Oung.
With more than 180 food stalls participating in the event, NhamFesta is set to serve as an amazing celebration of food.
Visitors can enjoy the festival every Friday to Sunday, from December 8-31, from 4pm to 10pm at The Elysee, Koh Pich.
For more information, please visit the official NhamFesta Food Festival Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/nhamfesta).
To book a booth, please contact NhamFesta via Telegram on +855 (0) 16 643 666.