THE Province of Cebu lauded organizers of the 12th Cebu Goes Culinary held over the weekend, saying this annual activity helps upgrade Cebu’s standards in the culinary arts.
“Every year, there are certainly improvements,” said Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, who is also chair of the Province’s committee on tourism.
Magpale underscored that culinary tourism is important in boosting arrivals to Cebu and that taking each tourist, whether local or foreign, on a culinary journey of Cebu would help attract tourists to either stay longer or return to Cebu.
Cebu Goes Culinary is an annual competition organized by the Hotel, Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu, Inc. (HRRAC). This year’s activity was anchored on the theme “Fruits of the Earth.”
The event highlighted the skills and mastery of the culinary arts by professional and aspiring chefs from different hotels, resorts, culinary schools and universities from all over Cebu and neighboring provinces like Bohol, Negros, Dumaguete and Iloilo.
Cake decorating, speed cooking, bartending, table setting and menu setting were some of the activities in the two-day culinary competition. Among the highlights were The Chocolate Chamber Challenge and The Noodle Challenge.
Early this year, Hong Kong-based marketing and communications agency Catch On announced that it has included the Philippines as one of the New Gastronomic-8 emerging markets of influence in world cuisine.
“The Future of Food” report mentioned that the cross-pollination of culinary influences in Philippine cuisine mirrors the country’s colorful historical influences. These influences are amplified and interpreted gastronomically for the world by a young breed of bold and tech-savvy Filipino chefs.
It also noted that as more Filipinos travel overseas, they bring with them their culture of food. Philippine ingredients and the country’s signature dishes like adobo, kinilaw, and sisig are slowly making their way into international kitchens.
Julie Najar, president of HRRAC, said the recognition is a welcome development as the Department of Tourism (DOT) eyes the country as a potential food hub in Asia.
DOT 7 Director Rowena Montecillo lauded the private sector for its support in boosting culinary tourism in Cebu.
She said that the private sector has always been creative and competitive when it comes to food, thus, the birth of events like Cebu Goes Culinary, a platform where chefs and cooks showcase innovative ways of cooking dishes, pastries and drinks, among others.