Manila, Philippines — This year, Filipino food and chefs have been getting rave reviews and international recognition for their culinary technique, creativity and usage of local ingredients.
National Geographic has listed Filipino food as one of the top food trends in 2019 with the food rave on Filipino-led eateries across the globe such as Washington DC’s Bad Saint and LA’s Lasa in the United States, as well as London-based restos Filishack, The Adobros and Mamasons’ in the United Kingdom.
Filipino-American chef Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint finally won as the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic at the James Beard Awards, which is considered the “Oscars” of the culinary world.
Meanwhile, Toyo Eatery, led by Filipino culinary star Jordy Navarra, has recently entered the list of prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 as the only Philippine entry at rank 43.
As the world craves for Filipino cuisine, it begs a question: what is next for Philippine food?
“The next step for Filipino food is to channel all of its culinary technique, wealth of ingredients and traditions from a global sensation to actually become a mainstream staple on dining menus all over the world,” shared Pauline Suaco-Juan, the executive director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).
CITEM is the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the agency that is mandated to promote Philippine food in different international exhibits in UAE, US, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, China and many more.
“The complexities and diverse flavors of our homegrown dishes are now being unraveled to the global audience thanks to the brilliance of Filipino chefs and restaurants abroad with their refined culinary techniques and choice of quality Asian ingredients, as well as the Philippine food exhibits overseas,” Suaco‐Juan said.
“Now is an exciting time for Philippine food. Our local cuisine is rising in the world of food and we want to push for Filipino food products, dishes and ingredients to become the next big Asian trend,” she added.
This statement comes a day before CITEM opens its gate to thousands of local and international food buyers and culinary influencers to check out what’s the next big thing in Asian food in IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM), Pasay City from 24-26 May 2019.
According to Suaco-Juan, IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA seeks to answer the question “What’s NXT in the world of FOOD?” by giving exhibitors from the Philippines and beyond a platform to showcase premium food exports, emerging trends, best practices, and industry innovations to the world’s biggest buyers.
A highlight of the event is the showcase of the country’s “Premium 7” export products, namely banana, coconut, coffee, cacao, mango, pineapple and tuna. Foodies attending the event can also relish dishes or products made with the “Rising Stars of Filipino food,” which include ube, calamansi, turmeric (luyang dilaw), moringa (malunggay), muscovado rice and heirloom rice, among others.
“International foodies and chefs across the globe are welcomed to see, taste and experience the wealth of ingredients in the Philippines and see how they can use it in their own local dishes,” said Suaco‐Juan.
“We cannot wait to show the world what makes Filipino food a champion. We want the world to know that when it comes to food, the best in taste and quality can be found in the Philippines,” she added.
Islands on a Plate celebrates Philippine food
As the country’s biggest export-oriented food show, IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA is taking foodies all over the world in a gastronomic feast of Filipino flavors in the Islands on a Plate special setting.
This special setting will feature the heirloom cuisines and iconic food products from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with the inclusion of a Halal Pavilion, One Town One Product (OTOP) Pavilion and a Seafood Pavilion by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
It shall also have a special pavilion for food producers hailing from Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region and SOCCSKSARGEN, as well as the provinces of Negros Occidental, Misamis Oriental and Taguig City.
“Foodies will be able to taste and get an intimate knowledge on the roots of the country’s most popular dishes and delicacies across the regions straight from the some of the same culinary minds who have made those iconic and part of Filipino culinary tradition,” explained Suaco-Juan.
Last 16 May, CITEM held a media preview of the Islands on a Plate at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) for the media and government to give a sneak peek on the fresh rebrand and the latest addition in IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA.
To highlight the use of the Philippines’ Premium 7 and the Rising Star of Filipino food, CITEM invited selected members of the media in an exclusive 12-course merienda cena dining experience presented with Via Mare and Chef Bea Nitard ingredients.
Included in the lineup of dishes were rustic bibingka, pirurutong bumbong, open-faced mango and premium red tuna salad, calamansi sherbet with pomelo bits; Cebuanong alimasag ala brandade gratinee; Batangas turmeric rice with chicken inasal; taba ng talangka with roasted kinurat rice; and champoradong waray with danggit. Also served for desserts were crème emperatrice, turon with chocolate and caramel filling, tropical fruit cake flambe and spicy chocolate ginger bombs.
“The abundance, diversity and flexibility of our local ingredients make the Philippines one of the best sources of food products and culinary inspirations in the world. You really just have to be at IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA to see, taste and experience it,” she added.
This year’s edition of IFEX Philippines is co-organized with the DTI’s the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT).
Visit www.ifexphilippines.com to sign up for the event or to check out more details. Follow IFEX Philippines on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get more updates on the event.