THE Department of Tourism (DOT) and Ayala Malls are hosting a food and travel festival in the province that will highlight Negros Occidental as one of the culinary destinations in the country.
The activity, in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental, will be held at Ayala Capitol Central in Bacolod City on December 19 to 21.
Dubbed "Kaon Na 'Ta," this is the last of the series of events this year initiated by the Office of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, said the province waited for the opening of Ayala Capitol Central in the city on December 14 for the hosting of the food and travel festival here.
Mansinares said all of the other events were also conducted in areas with Ayala Malls like cities of Legazpi, Davao and Cebu, among others.
"The festival aims to encourage more people to know more about our local cuisines. It also positions the province as one of the country's food destinations," she added.
The three-day activity will gather stakeholders from the academe, private sector and local government units (LGUs).
On the first day, the festival will kick off with the opening of exhibit booths and food fair.
LGUs will also showcase their unique and new dishes and cuisines through the food parade, a replication of the activity during the Tourism Week celebration.
Aside from cuisines of different localities, the province also invited some Negrense chefs including Nico Millanes, Don Colmenares, Joerri Arro, Patrick Go, Nino Laus, JP Anglo, Margarita Flores and Kalel Demetrio to showcase their dishes.
Stakeholders will then join in the food tasting session.
The second day will feature the slow food movement in Negros Occidental.
The Negrense chefs will demonstrate how to prepare their cuisines showcasing slow food practices.
"Slow food means using traditional food items in cooking. It is a careful way of preparing our food, not being on the rush," Mansinares said.
The third day, meanwhile, will focus on Negros as a farm tourism destination.
Mansinares said they will invite speakers who will talk on different topics concentrating on the promotion of healthy, sustainable and green practices in farms, hotels, restaurants, and other tourism establishments.
"The event is designed to further promote the country as a culinary destination," she said, adding that it will also include presentations on best practices in farm tourism, new agricultural technologies, organic farming and their contribution to sustainable development.