Madrid Fusión | Manila 2015

As one of the world’s largest gastronomic events, Madrid Fusión has been held annually since 2003 and brings together some of the most prestigious and avant-guard chefs in the business. It is without a doubt the largest culinary congress to have taken place in the Philippines and was a brilliant opportunity to showcase the talent that both Spanish and Filipino chefs have to offer. With a shared history of over 300 years it offered the pinnacle of gastronomic innovation, culinary trends and ‘cultural bridging’ through food.

Big names to feature in the 3-day gastronomic extravaganza included Michelin-starred Elena Arzak, Luis Aduriz, and Quique Dacosta representing Spain. They were accompanied by top Philippine-based chefs including, Chef Jose Luis “Chele” Gonzalez, Margarita Forés and Bruce Ricketts. Plus other top chefs from Asia, such as Andre Chiang from Singapore also featured in the events.

To celebrate the biggest food event ever to have hit the Philippines, FOUR brings you some of the best highlights from the 2015 Madrid Fusión Manila.

FOUR highlights from Madrid Fusión Manila

Michelin on Filipino cuisine

Amongst others who also held talks and demonstrated how global products are increasingly being incorporated into fine dining, was Elena Arzak. From three-Michelin-star Arzak in San Sebàstian, Elena Arzak headed the celebration encouraging chefs to push on with culinary creativity produced by cultural interchange. She presented four incredible dishes in her demonstration about, “Creativity, a cuisine open to the world”, and showcased her positive impressions of Filipino cuisine and produce. She reiterated the growing idea that top chefs, who are proud of their culture and heritage, can express this through food, creating culinary stories that transport gastronomy to a new level.

Tuna sperm Vs. Foie gras

True to form, we were shown what using every part of an animal really meant. The Philippine tradition of experimentation and willingness to utilise as much as possible in order to reduce waste, came courtesy of Chef Margarita Forés. The incredible dish she presented was an opportunity to debut tuna sperm. The tuna sperm is said to taste and feel like fois gras, but coming in at a far lower economic cost and also not considered unethical in its production and use. Perhaps this will become the replacement for the classic yet contraversialdish of fattened liver.

Culinary golden tickets

Akin to Charlie and the Chocolate factory only with Spanish and Asian Michelin-starred chefs, and the prize being a night of dining at a pop-up from some of Manila’s top restaurants. This one-night-only opportunity to experience the best that Manila has to offer, with the added influence of top chefs such as Jordi Navarre and his former boss from three Michelin-starred Bo Innovation, Hong Kong, Alvin Leung. They prepared not only some of his best signature dishes and his tasting menu, but also takes on classic dishes such as the famous Filipino dessert, Halo Halo, by infusing it with tobacco to offer diners a sensational treat.

The next new food trends

Like with all gastronomic events, certain products are going to come out on top or inspire the foodie crowd to introduce a new hero ingredient to their buzzwords. With the focus of this festival spotlighting Spanish and Filipino produce, we saw Spanish wines, cheeses, sausages, and hams alongside Philippine rice, cacao, coffee, mango, vegetables, and liqueurs taking center stage.

Highlights included rare Filipino products such as heirloom rice, Sampalok, the souring agent that gives a unique flavour and features in dishes like Sinigang, Pad Thai, Assam Laksa and Massaman curryto name a few. Tiny wild baby cucumbers barely bigger than a grain of rice know as Pepinitos also featured, along with star apples all showing the diversity of Filipino produce that could one day become the next new quinoa or acai berry.

Find out more information about Madrid Fusión Manilahere |www.madridfusion.net