For any Filipino foodie and culinary fan, touring Metro Manila’s famed Farmers Market in Araneta Center is always exciting especially in the morning when it is abuzz with activities. What more if said tour would be led by Margarita Fores, Asia’s Best Female Chef of 2016 no less.
This became a reality for the delegates of the recently concluded Madrid Fusion Manila. Chefs Jordi Butron, Perez Arellano, and Ricard Martinez of Spain and their companions went on a gastronomic adventure at the market as they gamely tried local fruits, vegetables, even raw seafood.
Even techniques like cleaning and gutting fish—Pinoy-style—were treats to the foreign visitors. Culinary experts lauded the quality and freshness of food.
At the live seafood section, the chefs took turns catching tilapia, lapu-lapu, and crabs from the network of aquariums, the market’s unique selling point. Called the Fishmoko section, it opened in 2011 and boasts of the widest array of seafood, including lobster, red snapper, eel and more arriving daily from various fish ports in the Philippines.
To cap off the Farmers Market Tour, the delegates were treated to a Filipino breakfast buffet at the Dampa—a food court inside Farmers Market where one can have their fresh market goods prepared.
Garlic rice, fried eggs, dried fish, longganisa, arroz caldo, laing, pandesal with kesong puti, bibingka, puto bumbong and kapeng barako in native wares such as palayok, bilao, and banana leaves were served in the sumptuous spread prepared for the guests.
A recognized landmark in the heart of the Araneta Center, Farmers Market is on its 41st year with a distinction as an undisputed benchmark and source for fresh seafood, best cooking ingredients and food choices in the metro. With a total area of 12,981.6 sq. meters, it is one of the largest markets in the country.
It is also recognized as the Cleanest Market Hall of Famer by the Quezon City Government and the recipient of the Huwarang Palengke award in 2005 awarded by Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Madrid Fusion Manila is the first and only Asian edition of Madrid Fusion, the most important international gastronomy event in the world, and celebrated annually in Madrid since 2003. The event is organized by the Department of Tourism, Tourism Promotions Board, Foro de Debate, and Arum Estrategias Internacionalizacion.