The biggest gastronomic convention in the country, Madrid Fusion Manila opened its doors today bringing together some of the top culinary minds in the world. The convention is divided between the Congress and Expo – the Congress being a hub for culinary inspirations with fabulous and educational demonstrations from chef’s all over the world; and the Expo which gathers restaurateurs, bars, food and wine suppliers, and artisanal product retailers from all over the Philippines.
Inside the Congress, here are the highlights of the demonstrations that took place:
Chef Gene Gonzalez and his call for the recognition of a national cuisine
While he acknowledges how classic Filipino dishes may be made in various ways with various different ingredients, just as different regions have their own take on Adobo and Sinigang, he speaks about how they somehow come together to be recognized as a Filipino dish. He discussed the colonial influences in the development of what makes Filipino cuisine a great amalgamation of these influences to become something unique and special.
Snacks with Chef Magnus Ek
The Chef took us to a culinary adventure and a sneak peek of his restaurant, Oaxen Krog and Slip. He shared how the architecture of the restaurant was inspired by the original structure built on the space, which was a shipbuilding and repair dock. He highlighted the call for sustainable seafood and how it is essential in their cuisine. One key highlight was his squid dish served with Swedish herbs and scallop water. The scallop water is made by his restaurant, similar to how Filipinos create fish sauce, but the outcome is a strong sour flavour to give the food some good acidity. The Chef is also known as the pioneer of New Nordic Cuisine in Sweden.
A Taste of Culinary Innovation with Chef Pedro Subijana
Fortunate for the world that the Chef did not pursue his initial call for the world of medicine, or else we would not be able to witness such innovation. He shared the transformation of Akelare from the 70’s as a quaint restaurant, to the three-star Michelin star restaurant and hotel that it is now. What drives its progress is the Chef’s continuous learning and integration of various techniques to make flavours come alive. His first dish astonished the audience as he took a lobster dish, and using a custom tool similar to a coffee maker. Through a tube running above the glass kettle, he infused the flavours of his reduction into the lobster and vegetables.
French base and Filipino flair with Katia and Tatiana Levha
Half Filipina sisters, Katia and Tatiana Levha hails from their gastronomic destination restaurant, Le Servan in Paris. The humble pair describes their place as a source of a great meal at competitive prices. They share that the French culinary scene has been receptive in the Asian influences they bring to their dishes.
Coastal cuisine by Chef Paco Perez
The Chef talked about how their unique landscape inspired him to create his dishes, as the sea meets the mountain. One gastronomic highlight in his demonstration was the seascape-inspired dish, beautifully plated in a translucent plating. He emphasised how you should always reflect on the product both experience and gastronomy.
Chef Josh Boutwood, On keeping things interesting and fresh in the kitchen
Noted by renowned chef Margarita Fores as a bright light in today’s culinary scene, Chef Boutwood took the stage to share how his new playground, the Test Kitchen, brings dynamic cooking using mostly locally-produced ingredients such as scallops, meat, black rice paired with home-made pineapple cider to boot.
Chef Kiko Moya on rediscovering traditional ingredients and recipes from his hometown in Alicante
La Escaleta’s legendary chef worked around four major ingredients, which can be found abundantly in Alicante: saffron, mustard, rice, and almonds. His dishes radiate simplicity in presentation to put the limelight on the dishes’ natural flavours.
To find out more about Madrid Fusion Manila 2017, check out www.madridfusionmanila.com!