Iloilo's 'Festival of Food' showcases gastronomic excellence

Iloilo's 'Festival of Food' showcases gastronomic excellence
(Contributed)

BEING the country's culinary gem, Iloilo City is stepping again into the spotlight to cement its title as the Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization).

The Iloilo City Government, through MICE Center, in partnership with Megaworld Iloilo and Iloilo Convention & Visitors Bureau (ICVB), launched the inaugural "Iloilo City Festival of Food: A Celebration of Ilonggo Gastronomy Excellence" on April 26, 2024, at K-Town, Festive Walk Parade Iloilo.

The kick-off was led by Iloilo City MICE Center director Salvador C. Sarabia, Jr., Festive Walk Mall manager Karmela Jesena, and ICVB president John Frederick S. Sarabia.

Among others who graced the event were UNESCO Secretary General Ivan Henares; Department of Tourism Western Visayas (DOT 6) Regional Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez; ECCP vice president and chair of the Food & Beverage Committee Helen Grace Baisa; Assistant City Tourism Officer Lea Lara; City Agriculturist Office Department Head Iñigo Garingalao; celebrity Chef Victor Neri; Iloilo City councilors; other LGU mayors, and stakeholders.

The event not only highlights the excellence of the culinary industry and tradition in Iloilo City and Western Visayas but also extends to understanding and appreciating the stories behind the dishes that every Ilonggo enjoys.

"This food festival promises to be our most exciting one, with a line-up of events participated in by communities from nearby towns, showcasing their best Ilonggo dishes, which will provide an unforgettable experience for all," Sarabia said.

Mayor Jerry Treñas invites Ilonggos and those who appreciate good food to come and enjoy this event, noting that "this celebration will honor the best gastronomy of our region, bringing food enthusiasts from near and far."

This first-ever festival wouldn't be complete without the food buffet galore, featuring savory classics like La Paz Batchoy, Pancit Molo, Cabatuan Tinuom, Leon mangoes, and San Miguel Chevon Fest, as well as delectable desserts like Sta. Barbara Bayebaye, Jaro Biscochio, and Butterscotch, among others.

The event, slated for April 26 to 30, is loaded with other activities, including cooking demonstrations from home-grown chefs showcasing their skills in cooking authentic Ilonggo dishes, symposia on traditional cooking techniques, and live entertainment.

A food map, developed by the city in collaboration with the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Arts (ILOMOCA), will also be introduced to guide food artisans and enthusiasts to the diverse range of the city's cuisines. (Iloilo City PIO)

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