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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Largest culinary event to hit Philippines kicks off Friday

TO CELEBRATE the Filipino­-Spanish 300­-year gastronomic journey, Madrid Fusión Manila is featuring talks and demonstrations tackling this theme through the windows of traditional and modern culinary trends and techniques, by some of the world’s most renowned chefs.

This three-day Gastronomy Congress consists of presentations by globally distinguished Spanish chefs, most of whom boast Michelin stars, and celebrated Filipino and Asian chefs on distinct culinary styles, highlighting Filipino and Spanish produce available at its accompanying exhibition.

Both the congress and exhibition will be held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City from April 24­-26.

Madrid Fusión, known for its 12­-year track record of bridging cultures through food in Spain, was brought to Manila by a joint partnership among the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) with the event’s Spanish organizers Foro de Debate and Arum Estrategias de Internacionalización.

DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. will open the event on Friday with welcoming remarks for the delegates and the chef speakers.

Chef Juan Carlos de Terry of Terry’s Bistro in Salcedo Village, Makati, with his discussion on Spain: Center and Origin of Modern Occidental Cuisine will be the first chef to present during the congress.

Focused on discussing the many facets of well ­loved ingredients are chef Quique Dacosta of Quique Dacosta restaurant in Spain, talking about A Thousand Faces of Rice; chef Fernando Aracama of Aracama in Taguig, presenting on Base Ingredient: Sour Fruits; chef Myrna Segismundo of New Manila in Quezon City, discussing Coconut, Tree of Life; and chef Francis Paniego of Echaurren in Spain, with his presentation on Spanish Marinades and Offal of the XXI Century.

Completing the first day are chef Elena Arzak of Arzak in Spain lecturing on Creativity, A Cuisine Open to the World and chef Mario Sandoval of Coque in Spain on The Science of Roasts, Modern Culinary Rituals.

More engaging talks will follow on the second day of the event as chef Claude Tayag of Bale Dutung in Pampanga talks about Philippine Adobo, which is commonly referred to as the unofficial national dish of the Philippines.

Joining in on this day is chef Paco Roncero of La Terraza del Casino in Spain, tackling Textures of Olive Oil, Traditional and Avant­ Garde; chef Bruce Ricketts of Mecha Uma in Taguig with his discussion on Local Seasonal Ingredients; chef Margarita Forés of Grace Park in Makati with her presentation titled What Gives Life; chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz in Spain with his demonstration on Open Creativity; Pepe López of Rambla in Makati with his talk titled Mom, I want to be a "Churrero" when I grow up; and André Chiang of André in Singapore with his presentation titled Juices, Creativity and Fermentation.

There won’t be any slowing down on day three as Madrid Fusión Manila aims to end with a bang.

Chef Rob Pengson of The Goose Station in Taguig will open the day with The New Filipiniana Cuisine, followed by Tapas Made in Spain ­Cuisine in Miniature by Ramón Freixa of Ramón Freixa restaurant in Spain.

The rest of the presentations include Rediscovery and Reverence by Chef Chele Gonzalez of Gallery Vask in Taguig; It's Fun to Cook "Xtreme Filipino" by chef Alvin Leung, Jr. of Bo Innovation in Hong Kong; and Sweet World, Happy Ending by pastry chef Paco Torreblanca of Bombonerías Torreblanca in Spain.

The congress will be concluded by chef J. Gamboa of Milky Way Cafe in Makati with Nose-­to-­Tail Eating in the Filipino­-Spanish Menu .

“The whole concept behind Madrid Fusión Manila is to get the best in culinary arts to come to the Philippines, share their knowledge, and learn from our local culinary chefs at the same time,” said Jimenez.

“Madrid Fusión is the single­most important conference for culinary in the 21st century because it is where the world goes to see the future of food.”

While the congress is taking place, the Department of Agriculture (DA) will be promoting native products listed under the Slow Food Foundation’s Ark of Taste, a collection of rare productions that belong to the cultures, history, and traditions of the world at the Trade Exhibit.

Some of the best known Spanish brands will also showcase their products including fresh, cured, and processed pork products, brandy and sparkling wines like Freixenet, Vallformosa, Masachs, and Codorniu among others.

The first two days of the Trade Exhibit are exclusive to trade visitors (e.g. bakers, chefs, cooks, restaurant owners, food industry professionals, students of culinary arts, hotel and restaurant management) who can enter the venue for free.

On Sunday, the trade exhibit is open to the public for a registration fee of P500.

The trade exhibit will also house hourly wine and food tasting tunnels and seminars that will surely pique the interest of gourmands everywhere. Various products will be highlighted in these tunnels, from Philippine heirloom rice and coffee to Spanish hams and wines.

A special treat awaits delegates of the congress as they will feast on a carefully curated lunch that will present the finest dishes and produce from the country’s three main islands­­Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Carefully planned and selected by some of the most formidable names in Philippine cuisine, the menu for the regional lunches will showcase a variety of local dishes such as lechon, longganisa, kinilaw and other local staples, cooked with the finest local produce from each region.

Local delicacies and produce such as the piaya and the different varieties of heirloom rice will also be presented, along with the Philippine cacao, pineapple, mango, dalandan, kalamansi, chocolates, cheeses, wines, nuts, preserves as well as alcoholic beverages.

The regional lunches will showcase different local dishes from day to day to focus on each region’s finest produce, ingredients and flavors. For day one, food varieties and ingredients found in Luzon will be presented.

For days two and three, the best of Visayas and Mindanao will be laid out respectively. (PR/Sunnex)

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