With the upcoming Madrid Fusion Manila (MFM) this April, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo said the Philippines was “making headway” in establishing itself as a center of gastronomy in the region.

During the ongoing Madrid Fusion (MF) at the Palacio del Congreso, the agency invited participants to the upcoming MFMs fourth edition on April 19 to 21 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

In partnership with Foro de Debate, owner of the MF franchise, the MFM 2018 with the theme “Innovating Tradition,” hopes to sustain higher awareness and attendance to the much-awaited Philippine culinary event which banners the country’s competitiveness as a gastronomical destination in the region.

In a statement read by MFM 2018 project director Pamela Samaniego, Teo said the MFM has effectively bound government agencies, private sector, media, academe, and local communities together.

“We are rallying behind one common goal of establishing the Philippines as a center of gastronomy on this part of the world. We are making great headway. And for this, we are thankful to all of you,” she said.

For her part, Samaniego shared that three years ago when the country was just starting with the project, the world barely knew about the cuisine and ingredients the Philippines had to offer.

“Today, food forecasts name Philippine cuisine as the next big food trend,” she said.

The formal announcement was graced by Philippine Ambassador to Spain Philippe Lhuillier, Lourdes Plana of Foro de Debate, MFM 2018 chef presenters Inigo Lavado, Susi Diaz and Gorka Txpartegi, MF 2018 Philippine chef presenter Jordy Navarra, and JP Anglo, featured chef for the Philippine reception and MFM 2018 chef presenter.

According to DOT, the Philippine booth in the MF at Palacio del Congreso had successfully drawn attendees to sample local products such as sweets, snacks, as well as freshly cooked dishes like beef sinigang, chicken arroz caldo and chicken adobo, and merienda such as suman, ube halaya, champorado, bibingka, kutsinta, puto, among others.

Apart from the hearty tastings, visitors are likewise enlightened on the origins of the food, how these are prepared as well as top destinations to enjoy these unique culinary gems.

In September 2017, Teo led the agreement signing for MFM 2018 at The Peninsula Manila, together with DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr., Lourdes Plana of Foro de Debate, and Iñigo Iribarnegaray of Vocento. (PNA)