With exactly a week to go before Madrid Fusión Manila 2015, it may be wise to draw up a “battle-plan” on how you will experience the fair, given the number of food-related activities happening simultaneously.
The main events will consist of talks and demonstrations by Spanish and Filipino chefs sandwiching three regional lunches at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay from April 24-26.
The first two days are reserved for trade visitors, but on Sunday, it will be opened to the public who have registered and paid the entrance fee in advance.
The regional lunches will present the finest dishes and produce from the country’s three main islands: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Participants can look forward to favorites such as lechon, longganisa, kinilaw and other local staples.
Delicacies such as piaya and different varieties of heirloom rice will be presented as well as Philippine cacao, pineapple, mango, dalandan, kalamansi, chocolates, cheeses, wines, nuts, preserves and alcoholic beverages.
At SMX recently, SM Supermalls’ senior vice president Steven Tan said they were proud to host the historic event. “We believe that one of the country’s best-kept secrets is our rich culinary heritage,” he said. “We also want to bring the excitement of Madrid Fusión to mall-goers.”
Now playing at SM Cinemas is the official 30-second commercial that shows busy hands chopping onions in time with a metronome, measuring beans and asparagus spears with a ruler, and choosing the perfect carrot with a bright orange paint chip as guide.
Mall-goers can look forward to a premium selection of cheese, tapas, wine, local finds and special bundles at The Gourmet Weekend Market from April 24-26 at SM Mall of Asia, in partnership with SM Supermarket and Hypermarket.
New food concepts will be available at select SM Mall of Asia restaurants, while SM Aura Premier will host a Spanish-theme fiesta with music, dancing, food and drinks on April 26 at Sky Park lawn.
Also from April 24-26, dining deals await all food lovers at SM Megamall’s Mega Food Hall.
The Ayala Malls has an ongoing Gastronomy Festival, a showcase of music, film and food until the end of the month.
Restaurants at Greenbelt, Bonifacio High Street and Ayala Center Cebu are offering degustación menus until April 26.
Participating restaurants include Cibo, Lusso, Fely J’s, Lorenzo’s Way, Chihuahua, Café Havana, Sumo Sam, John & Yoko and Balboa at Greenbelt; 2nd’s Restaurant, Lorenzo’s Way, Nanbantei of Tokyo, Wild West Roadhouse, Beso Cucina and Vinoteka, and Wolf & Fox Gastropub at Bonifacio High Street; and New Orleans, Seafood Island and Sumo Sam at Ayala Center Cebu.
There will be food trucks featuring different chefs’ creations at Cocinas Viajeras at Glorietta on April 17 and 18, and Alabang Town Center on April 24 and 25.
At Bonifacio High Street last week, chefs Noel dela Rama, JP Anglo and Rob Pengson showed off their culinary talents despite the food trucks’ limited space.
If it’s merienda (afternoon snacks) you prefer, head over to Food Choices at Glorietta and Alabang Town Center, Food Choices and Fiesta Market! of Market! Market! (April 13-16 and April 20-23); and Ayala Center Cebu (April 20-24) for a special afternoon treat.
On April 18, chefs J Gamboa, Fernando Aracama, Carlo Miguel and Mikkel Arriet will prepare a giant paella for Fiesta!, the food and music festival at the Greenbelt 3 Park. There will be live music provided by several DJs as well as a dance performance by Centro Flamenco.
The party moves to Bonifacio High Street and Alabang Town Center (April 25), Fairview Terraces (April 25-26), Ayala Center Cebu (April 24-26) and Centrio Mall at Cagayan de Oro (April 18).
Spanish-Filipino gourmet fare like cured meats, wines and cheeses will be on sale at Mercado, the pop-up marketplace at Greenbelt (April 23-24) and Alabang Town Center and Fairview Terraces (April 25-26). There will be performances by Sabor Latino and Batu Yilmaz.
If you’d rather watch than eat, make a beeline to the Greenbelt 3 Cinemas where a number of food-related movies and documentaries will be shown from April 22 to 26 at P100 a pop.
Films to be shown include: Mugaritz B.S.O.; 3055 Jean Leon; El Somni del Celler de Can Roca; and El Pollo, El Pez, y el Cangrejo Real, among others.
The film fest is organized by the Embassy of Spain with Ayala Malls.
Some hotels, like Diamond Hotel (5283000 ext. 1121), have come up with their own Spanish food promotions to coincide with Madrid Fusión Manila 2015.
From April 21 to 26, guest chef Edgard Sanuy Barahona will prepare authentic Spanish dishes for the lunch and dinner buffet at Corniche.
The young Catalan chef worked in Michelin star restaurants and won the “Chef of the Year 2013” award given by Foodie magazine in Hong Kong. He works in Hong Kong as Corporate Development chef for the Maximal Concepts Group.
Some items he will prepare with the hotel’s kitchen staff include the cold Spanish soup Gazpacho, Watermelon Sangria, Seafood salad with avocado and lime mayonnaise, and T-bone steak with Chimichurri sauce.
Barahona will also prepare an 8-course degustación menu paired with fine Spanish wines on April 22 at Constellation on the 27th floor.
For details, visit SM Supermalls on Facebook or @smsupermalls on Instagram. For more information on the Ayala Malls’ Gastronomy Festival, visit facebook.com/AyalaMalls360; @iloveayalamalls on Instagram; or log on to www.ayalamalls.com.ph.
Madrid Fusión Manila 2015 is a joint partnership among the Philippines’ Department of Tourism the Tourism Promotions Board, along with Madrid Fusión organizers Foro de Debate and Arum Estrategias de Internacionalización. For more information, visit madridfusionmanila.com.