Madrid Fusión Manila 2016 gets cooking
Kathy Moran (The Philippine Star) - February 3, 2016 - 9:00am

MADRID, SPAIN — Madrid Fusión Manila (MFM) 2016 is our chance to prove, beyond doubt, that the Philippines is indeed a center of excellence for culinary arts in Asia and the world — and that  Filipino cuisine has finally arrived on the global stage,” said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. “There is no turning back now. We are now competing with the rest of the world.”

With 2016 declared “Visit the Philippines Again Year” MFM 2016 made a sizzling comeback with its launch last Jan. 26 at the centerstage of Madrid Fusión 2016 at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos de Madrid, Spain.

“We have come here today to celebrate the gastronomic masterpieces that represent our palate as a people, and the richness and diversity of our heritage,” said Philippine Ambassador to Spain Carlos Salinas.  “The cultures of the Philippines and Spain are intrinsically intertwined. Much of who we Filipinos are today was shaped by those first 400 hundred years of close interaction with the Spanish.”

The ambassador recalled that last year’s Madrid Fusión was a resounding success. This year, he added, it is set up to be bigger, more insightful, and even more forward-thinking. 

“The Gastronomic Summit in Manila, which intends to deepen the culinary conversation in this year’s run, is indeed a wonderful opportunity to present the Philippines as a culinary center of excellence,” Salinas said. “Madrid Fusión Manila, indeed, is instrumental in strengthening the ties that bind our two countries. Amid realizations and lessons learned — some the hard way — we continue to be enriched by ever-strengthening relations between our nations.”

MFM 2016 has for its theme “The Manila Galleon: East Meets West.” The MFM Trade Expo will highlight ingredients, gourmet products, creative tableware, culinary equipment, regional culinary treats from the Philippines, Spain and other countries around Asia and the new worlds of Europe and the Americas.  

MFM 2016 will be held from April 7 to 9 at the SMX Convention Center of the SM Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City, Philippines.

“I expect big success for Madrid Fusion Manila 2016,“ said Lourdes Plana, vice president of Madrid Fusion. “Because it is the second congress in Manila, I think that the Filipinos know what Madrid Fusion is all about.”

At the Madrid Fusion 2016 Congress in Palacio Municipal de Congresos, a Philippine booth was set up for the three days of the congress.  The booth offered champorado (made with heirloom rice) turon, adobo (served as a rice meal with heirloom rice courtesy of the Department of Agriculture), cacao and dried mangoes. The dishes were prepared by chefs Miko Aspiras and Angelo Comsti.

At the booth, visitors got a taste of the Philippines, which was a great way to make the Philippines visible for MFM 2016.

A Philippine reception was held last Jan. 25 at Pedro Larumbe restaurant in Madrid as part of the launch activities for MFM 2016.  Guests included chefs, tour operators, international and Philippine media, embassy officials, Madrid Fusion and MFM organizers.

Also at the party were celebrity chefs Elena Arzak (who was part of MFM 2015), David Thompson (who will be part of MFM 2016) and some TV personalities.

MFM is the first and only Asian edition of Madrid Fusion. MFM 2016, the second run, will bring together from across the globe the world’s top-rated chefs and most acclaimed avant-garde chefs.

The chef presenters for MFM 2016 include Joan Roca of El Cellar de Can Roca Restaurant in Catalonia, Spain (3 Michelin stars, No.1 and one of the world’s 50 best restaurants); Dani Garcia of Bibo Andalusian Brasserie and Tapas in Malaga, Spain (2 Michelin stars); Jose Andres of Minibar, Spain (El Instituto del Comité de Congresistas Hispanos [Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute] Chair’s Medallion Award); Ricard Camarena of Ricard Camarena, Spain (1 Michelin star);  Angel Leon of Aponiente, Spain; Jordi Butron of EpaiSucre, Spain; Yoshihiro Narisawa of Les Creations de Narisawa Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan (2 Michelin stars, No.2 and Asia’s 50 best restaurants); Virgilio Martinez of Central Restaurante in Lima, Peru (1 Michelin star, No.1 with distinction as one of the world’s and Latin America’s 50 best restaurants); Michael Aspiras  of Scout’s Honor, Le Petit Soufflé, Garde Manger, Milk Trade and Freezer Burn, Philippines (Hong Kong Culinary Classics 2013 (HOFEX) Highest Gold and Best of The Best award for “Live High Tea and Set-up”);  Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan of Purple Yam Manila and New York, Philippines (2006, Stewart, Tabori and Chang, NYC); Myke Sarthou of Alab, Philippines; Kevin Cherkas of Cuca, Indonesia (gold and silver medals at the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs national and regional competitions in 2003); Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao, USA; Paul Qui of Qui, USA (Food & Wine magazine’s 2014 Best New Chefs); David Thompson of Nahm, Thailand (#7 Asia’s 50 Best 2015), Nurdin Topham of Nur, Hong Kong; Jungsik Yim of Jungsik, South Korea; Enrique Olvera of Pujol, Mexico, and Jorge Vallejo of Quintonil, Mexico (#6 in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants).

The MFM Trade Expo is a special exhibition for fine food, gourmet products, new ingredients, equipment and services meant to reach out to trade buyers and other decision makers.  Destination and lifestyle stands will showcase tourist attractions of the Philippines, along with their food, beverages and ingredients.  The food and beverage tunnel will be a venue for tasting sessions of wines and spirits, heirloom rice and grains, farm produce, artisanal chocolates, and coffee varieties, among others.  Food seminars will also be held during the three-day affair. 

Side by side with MFM 2016 is the month-long “Flavors of the Philippines Festival” that features food tours, gourmet markets, food fairs and agri bazaars, to special dinners with celebrity chefs, food trips, hotel food festivals, fiestas, food exhibits, and food trucks. 

“I think that after Madrid Fusión Manila 2016, the cuisine in the Philippines will have some changes,” added Plana. “I expect and hope like in Spain, Madrid Fusion Manila will open the minds of the chefs to think about how they can better prepare Filipino cuisine.”





* * *

Registration for MFM 2016 Congress is open with regular rates at $450 or P20,000; group rates with a minimum of 20 pax at $290 or P13,000 as well as the early-bird rate until end of February at $320 or P14,000. 

For students, the regular rate is $ 410 or P18,000; group rates (minimum of 20 pax) of $245 or P11,000, with an early-bird rate (until end of February) of $320 or P14,000.

For information,, call   893-7973 or visit

For exhibitors, call 929-7993 and 929-7963 or e-mail

For Flavors of the Philippines food festival, e-mail or call 832-5401.

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