Is the Philippines saying goodbye to Madrid Fusion Manila?
MANILA, Philippines – Madrid Fusion Manila, an annual days-long food convention, won’t be happening this year, according to Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Margaux Salcedo.
In her April 1 column, Salcedo quoting Tourism and Promotions Board chief Cesar Montano, said “Madrid Fusion Manila 2018 is no longer pushing through.”
Rappler has reached out to Montano for confirmation but he has yet to reply as of posting.
What’s Madrid Fusion Manila? MFM is a days-long annual convention held in the Philippines. According to the Madrid Fusion Manila website, it’s the “first and only Asian edition of Madrid Fusion, the most important gastronomy event in the world.”
Madrid Fusion started in 2003 while MFM began in 2015.
The 2018 MFM, themed “Towards a Sustainable Gastronomic Planet,” featured an international gastronomy congress, an international gastronomy expo, and “Flavors of the Philippines,” wherein organizers held food events around the country. It included culinary demonstrations, dinners by celebrated chefs, street parties, festivals, among others.
Why put a stop to it? Salcedo, quoting Montano, said the current administration “did not really appreciate the project.”
“The reason, Montano says: Many are of the impression the government is spending so much money promoting other cultures,” wrote Salcedo in her column.
MFM became a reality under the former administration headed by Benigno Aquino III. A deal was signed between former tourism chief Ramon Jimenez Jr. and the organizers of Madrid Fusion.
Why scrap it, why keep it? Salcedo presented the pros and cons of the popular convention in her column.
“On one hand, they are missing the point and beauty of Madrid Fusion’s being held in Manila. On the other hand, this is a valid sentiment that has resonated and in fact echoed in the past three events,” said Salcedo of the argument that the Philippines was spending money to promote other cultures.
On the other hand, she also argued that MFM puts Manila on the world map, puts Filipino chefs in the spotlight, and can inspire a new generation of Filipino chefs.
“Madrid Fusion Manila made so much noise that it was impossible for the world to ignore. Suddenly, heads turned to Manila, wondering why Spain chose Manila over Asian culinary giants,” she wrote.
In an Instagram post, chef Margarita Fores, Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards' Best Female Chef for 2016, paid tribute to MFM.
"We Filipino chefs have been blessed with priceless opportunities to meet, interact and share the best of our beloved Philippines with the icons of the industry. We have also made our mark as the new center of gastronomy in our part of the world. We are forever grateful," she said.
Because of @madridfusionmanila and @madridfusion, we Filipino chefs have been blessed with priceless opportunities to meet, interact and share the best of our beloved Philippines with the icons of the industry. We have also made our mark as the new center of gastronomy in our part of the world. We are forever grateful...Gracias @elenaarzak and @juanmariarzak and may we continue to strengthen these ties that bind, forever. #basquecountry @jordynavarra @amadofores And what a phenomenal meal we had! @mielleesteban #latepost Swipe left please!