Culinary proponent of Italian cuisine Margarita Forés recently received an honorary knighthood, Order of the Star of Italy (Cavaliere dell’Ordine Della Stella d’Italia), granted by Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
A casual affair, where pizza, pasta, beer, Prosecco and Italian street food were served, was held at the residence of Italian Ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino.
For three decades, Forés expressed her deep love for Italy through her constant promotion of its cuisine. Her restaurants and catering service have raised the profile of Italian food in the country.
“A chef of international fame, Ms. Margarita Forés has developed throughout the years, a personal style that combines the tradition of Italy—a country where she took her first steps in the culinary field—with Filipino elements and local organic products, becoming a reference point for the world of both Filipino and Italian cuisines,” read Guglielmino.
Best Female Chef
Forés introduced Casa Artusi Philippines, the first offshore school of the prestigious culinary academy and center of Italian gastronomic culture. She was also voted by restaurant experts in the region as Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016.
Putting her clients first, Forés had arrived late for the event after coming from several catering services, and accepted the award in her chef’s uniform. She thanked her mother, Maria, for bringing her to Italy when she was 11 years old.
In an emotional acceptance speech, she said, “I kept going back to Italy. Maybe I was Italian in my past life. Both Italy and the Philippines are the same. We love food, we love our mothers, we love sharing things around the table. Italy allowed me to fall in love with my country even more,” she said.
She also acknowledged Guglielmino; her mother for her unconditional love; her team; her son Amado, whom she called her inspiration; her aunt Judy Roxas, who encouraged her to be better in everything; and Casa Artusi.
Forés also credited Alexander Lichaytoo, owner of Bacchus International, an importer of the finest Italian ingredients.
“Thank you for bringing all the wonderful products from Italy. Otherwise, I couldn’t do this,” she said.
Said Guglielmino, “Her passion and her love for Italian cuisine have made her a real engine for spreading a variety of high quality Italian products in the Philippines, and generally, in Asia.”