In San Vito lo Capo for Cous Cous Fest – Italy’s most popular food festival
1. Love never stops: the slogan of Cous Cous Fest 2022
Since its inception, the Cous Cous Festival has been founded on the values of sharing and coming together, and in 2022, more than ever, the emphasis is on the feeling of love, the only thing that allows us to cross borders, break down barriers and create encounters between different cultures. It is no coincidence that this year’s slogan is Love never stops.
After being skipped in 2020 because of the pandemic and reduced in scale in 2021 due to restrictions still in force, the festival this year resumes in a big way under the banner of the ideals that have characterised it since its first year: integration, peace and exchange.
2. Cous Cous in San Vito lo Capo
It was 1998 when this town in Trapani hosted for the first time an event dedicated to cous cous, a typical dish in this area which is closely linked to the nearby Maghreb region. The idea was to celebrate a poor, simple dish that is part of Mediterranean culture and a powerful link between people with different traditions, histories, cultures and religions, but who all have something in common.
Over the years, the event has grown to the point of becoming an international festival where chefs from all over the world come together each year to compete over recipes. All cous cous-based, of course.
San Vito lo Capo has thus become the world capital of cous cous. Here, the world meets, diversity is welcome and even competition is just a way to exchange ideas and culture.
3. The Cous Cous Championship
Over the course of the 10-day festival, 4 Italian chefs will compete for the title of Italian Champion and the right to represent their country in the World Championship. At the same time, four students from Italy’s hotelier institutes will have their own competition. The winner will join the Italian chef in the next round.
The international competition is the real heart of the festival. Eight chefs from four continents compete by presenting a recipe created live on the Bia Theatre stage. Judging is done by a technical jury and popular vote. The winner is crowned Cous Cous World Champion.
4. Tastings, cooking shows, talks and souks
While the chefs compete, visitors can entertain themselves by tasting cous cous in dozens of different recipes. Every day, from noon to midnight, the Cous Cous Houses offer 30 different recipes – from San Vito fish-based dishes to more exotic ones from faraway lands. Gluten-free options are available.
In the meantime, cooking shows, cooking classes, themed encounters and wine tastings can be enjoyed in Piazza Santuario. And for those in a shopping mood, there is the Expovillage – a souk where you can buy food and handicrafts, both Sicilian and Mediterranean in origin.
5. 10 free concerts on the bill
Cous Cous Fest 2022 will feature a rich programme of musical events that continue the tradition of fusing different styles, where cultural crossovers and entertainment combine. A different concert is scheduled each evening, preceded or followed by an interview with the author or a DJ set, such as Shantel’s.
And be ready to dance the night away on the beach on Saturday 24 September. The other guests are Dargen D’Amico, Eugenio Bennato, Paola Turci, Med Free Orkestra, Ermal Meta, Piero Pelù, Brama, Lello Analfino and the Popular Orchestra La Notte della Taranta. Agricantus will close the festival with a concert of world music.
6. Everything you need to know about Cous Cous Fest 2022
16 to 25 September 2022
Open daily from 12pm to 12am
Lungomare, Via Regina Margherita and Via Savoia
Expovillage – free admission
Open daily from 12pm to 12am
Cous Cous Houses
Cous Cous Tasting – Tickets €12.00
Tickets can be purchased from Fest ticket offices
Cooking Show Bia Theatre – Tickets €10.00
Friday, 16 September 2022
Italian Championship Qualifying – Tickets €15.00
Saturday, 17 September 2022
Italian Championship Final – Tickets €20.00
Thursday, 22 & Friday, 23 September 2022
World Championship Qualifying – Tickets €15.00
Saturday, 24 September 2023
World Championship Final – Tickets €25.00
Tickets can be purchased from the Bia Theatre box office
Find out more and view the events calendar