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Participants having a lavish breakfast during the The 40th edition of Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive, 'Tilal Swaihan Experience'. Photo: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Any outdoor event is a time to bond with family and friends. And when it comes to an event like the Gulf News Fun Drive Overnighter, the celebration is taken to a whole new level with a feast for the senses.

With more than 2,000 participants registered for this year’s Tilal Swaihan Experience, the overnighter had to ensure the catering was top notch with a spread to satiate the crowds.

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Breakfast at the Gulf News Overnighter Fun Drive - Tilal Swaihan Experience Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkla/Gulf News

The responsibility of the food rested in the hands of Capital Hospitality — ADNEC with Mohammed Hamdan, Assistant Director, Culinary Experience and Philip de Lang, Executive Chef at the helm who led their team of chefs and kitchen staff on site to ensure everyone was well fed.

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Capital Hospitality — ADNEC with Mohammed Hamdan, Assistant Director, Culinary Experience and Philip de Lang, Executive Chef Image Credit: Supplied

“A menu was prepared taking into consideration the demographics of the guests. For example, beef was removed from the pack meals. Once the menu was approved, we sent out samples to be reviewed and adjusted around the menu if needed,” said de Lang.

Food for thought

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Breakfast is served at the Fun Drive Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkla/Gulf News

Feeding 2,000 people was no simple task but de Lang and his team were up to the task.

Three hundred kg of chicken breast, 130kg of boneless lamb leg, 260kg of chicken thigh (boneless and skinless), 80kg of fresh chicken breast cubs (18/20), 250kg of chicken sausage and more were cooked up by the experts. Naturally, the menu didn’t stop there. A good 8,400 eggs were used for the dishes, including a massive ceremonial 100kg cake that was served on March 5. And this is only some of the meat consumed at the overnighter.

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The meals were a hit with participants this year Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkla/Gulf News

The team of chefs also cooked up 220kg of tomatoes, peeled 200 onions, chopped up 10kg of coriander leaves, 10kg of banana leaves, 100kg of cucumber, 60kg of carrot and more, using all these ingredients into preparing dishes for the overnighter. A good hundred kilos of beans added to the feast.

A total number of 16,750 samosas were consumed at the two-day mega event, accompanied by 1,500 pieces of falafel, 5,500 mini croissants, 8,000 pieces of mohamara and 700 pieces of large gulab jamun also made it to the menu.

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Dinner being served at the Tilal Swaihan camp Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkla/Gulf News

This year, the ceremonial cake was a Victorian Sponge, which proved to be a hit with the guests. Executive chef de Lang said: “Four hundred eggs, 20kg of sugar, 20kg of butter, 12kg of milk, 1kg of vanilla extract went into make the ceremonial cake.”

Indian expat Sapna Walia gushed that it was rather amazing. “The cake was quite epic. It melted like butter in my mouth. Overall, the food spread was great at the Gulf News Fun Drive. It was a feast that we enjoyed.”

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Fresh croissants anyone? Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkla/Gulf News

And speaking of butter, 70kg of Lurpak unsalted butter, 80kg of Amul Paneer Diced, 50kg of shredded Mozarella cheese, 70kg of cheddar cheese yellow slice, 15kg of parmesan cheese block and 10kg of Ricotta cheese also made the cut.

Before the participants set out to retun home the next day, they did also take a bite out of the 700 pieces of kerala paratha, 1,000 pieces of vegetarian roomali kati roll and 30 loafs of white and brown bread sliced among others.