Khorovats, the traditional Armenian barbecue, is widely available at restaurants all over Armenia. It’s people’s all-time favorite dish, and there’s even a special ceremony, the “Khorovats Dance,” performed at wedding parties. So it comes as no surprise that Armenians have a festival dedicated to this dish – the Pan-Armenian Barbecue Festival.
Launched in 2009, this popular annual event, which takes place in the town of Akhtala in the Lori province of Armenia, is surely a great opportunity to taste different varieties of Armenian barbecue. Cooks from different cafes, restaurants, NGOs, and even educational institutions both from Armenia and abroad, each trying to impress visitors with their own unique recipe, prepare beef, pork, fish, mutton, and vegetable barbecues.
The festival is also a competition. The cooks compete for awards and titles, such as “Best Idea,” “Best Chef,” “Best Flavor,” “Best Innovation,” and many others. And as with every Armenian khorovats party, there’s always drinks, folk music, and dances. The festival became so popular that in 2017 the organizers proclaimed Akhtala the world capital of khorovats!