Thursday, April 7, 2016

Madrid Fusion Manila 2016 spotlights Philippine gastronomy

“Madrid Fusion is the event where the world goes to learn the future of food”, Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. said during the opening ceremony of Madrid Fusion Manila 2016.

In Madrid Fusion Manila 2016, “we have found a most powerful platform to showcase Filipino culinary artistry for the second time, building an image for Manila and the Philippines as the place to learn about the past and the future of food”, the tourism chief added, “imagine an event that not only attracts people to travel but also build an awareness for a place and the experience it offers.”

Over a thousand delegates have registered for the second edition of Madrid Fusion Manila (MFM), now ongoing until 9 April 2016 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

 MFM 2016 is organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT), Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) PHL, Foro de Debate, and Arum. This year’s theme, “The Manila Galleon: East meets West” celebrates the 450th anniversary of the Galleon Trade that linked Asia with the Western World.

Jesus Gracia, Secretary of State for International Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain, who arrived in Manila precisely to participate at the opening of this influential gastronomy event, declared that “it is an honor for the government of Spain to be part of this second edition of Madrid Fusion Manila. This 2016 will be a bigger success. It is an occasion to celebrate Philippine-Spanish friendship.”

MFM 2016 is expanding the gastronomic conversation further, not only between Manila and Madrid, but between two different parts of the world, the East and West. This year’s roster of chefs will come from Asia, the Americas and Europe. DOT Director Verna Buensuceso brought guests from the media to a walk through of the 3-day gastronomy congress, highlighting some of the new features this year including a business-to-business meeting between different suppliers and potential buyers jointly organized by the DOT and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).  

Inigo Canedo, Managing Director of Arum Societas Internacionalizacion assures that everyone will learn “new skills, taste new flavors, and meet new culinary talents” in this second run of the most important international gastronomy congress in the world which has been celebrated annually in Madrid since 2003.

Pig and Khao-New York’s Chef Leah Cohen, herself a half Filipina, said her parents were “extremely thrilled for her to have been invited”, hoping she would make them proud as she shares her version of Filipino cuisine and gives a sample of what she does in New York.  

While Chef Kevin Cherkas of Cuca Restaurant in Bali is not his first time in the Philippines, having visited the country last year just to eat, he said MFM is one “good excuse to comeback” after a year.

Filipino Chef Tatung Sarthou of Alab, on the other hand, minced no words in telling guests that he is stepping up to the plate in telling the “story of Philippine cuisines”, in the hope to “deepen the discourse on what Filipino food is all about in the global context”, implying that he will not only talk about the Galleon Trade but also indigenous Filipino cookery, to “understand where we came from and to know where we are heading to in the next generations.”

2016 Asia’s Best Female Chef Margarita Fores also shared a few words about her brainchild to bring Madrid Fusion to Manila last year. “It is a dream come true to see Madrid Fusion in Manila; for allowing the Philippines enjoy it in our shores, and showing what we have learned from Spain”, an emotional Fores said, in reference to her hope to bring the country and Filipino cuisine forward.

The 3-day congress will also feature a trade exhibition, showcasing food & beverage companies, gourmet products, ingredients, new technologies and services in the food industry. Also happening alongside MFM 2016 is “Flavors of the Philippines”, a month-long cultural and gastronomic fiesta to be participated in by some restaurants, bars, and food trucks all over the Philippines.

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