Good food plays big part in making PHL a ‘fun’ destination — DOT chief

MANILA, Philippines — With the second edition of Madrid Fusion Manila set to return to the Philippines this week, the tourism chief has expressed pride in once again being host the biggest gastronomical event in the world.

“Madrid Fusion became the entry point to strengthen the position of the Philippines as a center of modern gastronomy in Asia,” Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Ramon Jimenez said.

“After allowing the world to discover the Filipino food, this year’s edition will be highlighting how the Philippines has influenced world cuisine through the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade,” he added.

The second edition of Madrid Fusiόn Manila, which will take place from Thursday to Saturday at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, will highlight the interaction between the east and west in celebration of the 450th anniversary of the Galleon Trade that linked Asia to the Western World.

This year’s theme “The Manila Galleon: East meets West” will focus on the influences made by two diverse parts of the world, particularly in the global gourmet scene.

The aftermath of the Galleon Trade made strides in the worldwide culinary map because of the trade of spices, sweet corn kernels, flame colored chilies, earthy bitter cacao, scarlet atsuete seeds, creamy green flesh of avocado, among others.

Jimenez, however, emphasized that the success of Madrid Fusion Manila is attributed to all the passionate Filipino and foreign chefs who have shared their culinary talents, stories, and techniques.

“Philippine cuisine will share the spotlight with the different cuisines of the world, as foreign celebrity chefs bring the influences of their culture to the table this year at Madrid Fusion Manila,” the DOT chief said.

“Good food has always played a big part in the fun element of our culture and a vital component of Filipino hospitality,” he added.

Madrid Fusion Manila is composed of three landmark activities including the International Gastronomy Congress, where Michelin-star chefs from across the globe will share talks about progressive gastronomy and their practices.

It will also feature a Trade Exhibition, which will showcase the finest food and ingredients from Europe and Asia and Flavors of the Philippines, which is a month-long festival featuring a diverse array of exciting food-related activities from food trips, special restaurant menus, gourmet markets, street food festivals, to special dinners with celebrity chefs, hotel food festivals, fiestas and food exhibits.

This year the department expects around 1,500 local and foreign delegates joining the Gastronomy Congress, which is slighter higher than the 1,100 delegates who attended the same congress last year.

Delegates will be coming from 13 countries namely Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, Singapore, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, United State of America, Canada, Mexico and Nigeria.

Meanwhile, there will be 217 booths this year compared to the 171 booths last year in the Madrid Fusion Manila Trade Exhibition. Azer Parrocha/PNA/