ALL eyes in the culinary world were on the Philippines when it successfully hosted the first Madrid Fusión Manila at the SMX Convention Center in April. First held in Madrid, Spain in 2003, Madrid Fusión is one of the most prestigious gastronomic events in the world.
Organized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the 2015 Madrid Fusión Manila was the first time the gastronomic event was brought to Asia.
It featured illustrious chefs from Spain, Southeast Asia, and the Philippines, and drew huge crowds composed of gourmands and foodies. The event also showcased Philippine cuisine and culture, highlighting the country as a fast-rising food capital in the world because of its talented chefs, a colorful history, and abundant local ingredients.
Leading the opening of Madrid Fusión Manila was Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., who said, “I come this morning with something that is essential to any culinary exercise: an appetite for knowledge, for a lively exchange of ideas old and new, discovery, for making new friends, and finally, for making history, for today the world now focuses its eyes on the Philippines as one of the great undiscovered gastronomic adventures in the world.”
Joining Jimenez were Tourism Promotions Board Chief Operating Officer (COO) Domingo Ramon Enerio 3rd, DOT Director Verna Covar-Buensuceso, ICEX Director for Food and Wine Rosa Angulo, Arum Estrategias Internacionalizacion S.L. Director Iñigo Cañedo, Madrid Fusión President Jose Carlos Capel, Madrid Fusión Director Lourdes Plana, and Spanish Ambassador Luis Antonio Calvo.
Among the renowned chefs from Spain who talked about the future of food were Quique Dacosta, Elena Arzak, Paco Roncero, Ramon Freixa, Francis Paniego, Andoni Luis Aduriz, Mario Sandoval, and Paco Torreblanca. Andre Chiang and Alvin Leung flew in from Singapore and Hong Kong, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Manila food scene was represented by distinguished chefs Juan Carlos de Terry, Fernando Aracama, Myrna Segismundo, Claude Tayag, Bruce Ricketts, Margarita Fores, Pepe Lopez, Rob Pengson, Chele Gonzalez and J. Gamboa.