Is Manila, Philippines Ready for the Foodies of the World?

Philippine Culinary
¨Manila had been slowly moving toward the direction of culinary exposure as being the ‘it’ destination for food. – Chef José Luis “Chele” González

Manila has recently wrapped up the biggest gastronomy experience, Madrid Fusión Manila 2017, Towards a Sustainable Gastronomic Planet. On it´s third year, this foodie event showcased not only culinary tourism but also farm and argi-tourism models. 2017 focused more on exploration of the transformation of sustainable gastronomy. And at the same time enhancing the cultural traditions and environmental limits. Since 2015, Philippine cuisine has gained traction not only on domestic market but the whole world is interested.

An article from Condé Nast Traveler sited that Manila is attracting award-winning chefs, more so as a culinary destination.

Chef Chele has been in the Philippines for six years. He owns Gallery Vask, where they serve indigenous ingredients with western twist. As of writing, the restaurant was the only one in the Philippines that made it to the World´s 50 Best Restaurants in Asia list.

¨My role as a foreigner, I should translate anything that I find amazing to a western fusión for a global market,¨ further explained by Chef Chele during a press conference at the Madrid Fusión Manila 2017 Day 1.

Together with Chef Chele were Chef Claud Tayag, a Kapampangan chef and restaurateur who´s advocating regional cuisine; Ms. Cheryl Tiu, an international journalist and media personality who writes mostly about travel and food; Ms. Clang Garcia, a tour operator, publisher and entrepreneur;  Ms. Tina Decal, culinary tour operator; and Ms. Marilen Yaptangco, major tour operator in the Philippines.

Philippine Culinary Tour
Left to right: Chef Claude Tayag, Ms. Cheryl Tiu, Ms. Clang Garcia, Chef Chele Gonzalez, Ms. Tina Decal and Ms. Marilen Yaptangco

Traction wise, Ms. Cheryl Tiu was successful with her venture, Cross Cultures, then as a culinary tour operator Ms. Tina Decal has been getting good number of participants over the years for Kulinarya Tagala and of course Chef Claude´s world class Pampanga culinary experience by rsvp.

Now as the Philippine cuisine get hyped up by these great set of panelists, the big question is, are we ready when the foodies of the world flock Manila?

One great point was raised by Ms. Clang Garcia that she personally experienced when she was touring the country for her book.

¨I think what DOT needs to invest in the training of specialized culinary guides. When I traveled around the Philippines I was looking for guides, of course there are accredited guides but they are not culinary guides. And that would be a great selling point and there would be a premium for that. Also I want to highlight Culinary Heritage Tourism not just culinary tourism. We have to be able to sell it at a certain price because we should not sell our cuisine cheaply. We wouldn’t want to cheapen our heritage. ¨ 

Also as cited by Ms. Marilen Yaptangco as a major tour operator in the country, culinary tourism in the Philippines is still on it´s early stages and would have a lot of improvements along the way.

As the Philippine cuisine gets more attention from all over the world, Manila has to keep up to serve all tables for the up coming demand of culinary and gastronomy tours. We have arrived but not quite there yet.

***Cover photo from YouTube | Madrid Fusion Manila

Published by generosepomelo

Filipina travel agent turn travel writer / blogger / photographer.

28 thoughts on “Is Manila, Philippines Ready for the Foodies of the World?

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