After receiving the award as Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2016 at the recent Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants ceremony in Bangkok, Margarita “Gaita” Forés headed to Milan, Italy, to promote Filipino food.
At the 12th edition of Identita Golose, an international chef’s congress founded by Italian food journalist Paolo Marchi, Forés gave the international audience a taste of Philippine cuisine and talked of her colorful career.
Her presentation, “Nourish, Feed and Nurture,” was about cooking with a maternal instinct, something she imbibed after learning from three signoras in Italy, raising her son Amado, and overseeing a restaurant and catering staff of over 500. Fores then presented three dishes: adobo, guisado and kinilaw. Guests were then treated to a sampling of a savory balut flan.
“Every year, I sit in the audience and listen to all these amazing chefs share their stories, and all I could do was dream,” Fores said after her 40-minute talk.
“This chance to talk about my work and my country’s cuisine and culture, as well as acknowledge my deep gratitude to Italy for starting me on this 30-year journey is a priceless blessing and opportunity,” she added.
A day after her Identita Golose gig, Forés went to Forlimpopoli, a town in the province of Forlì-Cesena located in northeastern Italy, where she was the guest of honor in a prestigious celebration.
As recognition for her win in Asia’s 50 Best as well as her efforts to promote Italian cuisine in the Philippines, Casa Artusi hosted an event where representatives from the local chamber of commerce and suppliers of Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and prosciutto di Parma finally got to meet Forés.
She was presented with a plaque by the highest local institution in Emilia-Romagna for her contributions in supporting and promoting Italian food items and for consequently helping the industry of the whole region.
“We are so proud of her,” said Susy Patrito Silva, director of Casa Artusi. “This event was just a little something to show how much we care for her and appreciate everything that she does for the culture of food.”