Cheryl Tu from Singapore Tatler reports on the ongoing rise internationally in Filipino cuisine. In April, the Philippines hosted the Madrid Fusion Manila (MFM), the only Asian edition of the renowned international gastronomy congress Madrid Fusion. “It was a game changer. It put the Philippines on the culinary map,” says the country’s Department of Agriculture undersecretary Berna Romulo‑Puyat. “Foreign chefs and media became curious why our country was chosen to hold this culinary event.”
Before the event, only a handful of chefs would go directly to local farmers to use their ingredients. After the congress Romulo-Puyat sees “chefs have been buying directly from our farmers, and now travel around the country to get to know our farmers and fishermen”.
More Filipinos are proud of their cuisine’s reflection of its history of Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and American influences and the diverse cultures within its large archipelago. Berna Romulo‑Puyat points out “Filipino food is highly diverse. Each island or province has its own specialty and it would be difficult to pinpoint the best among them. Each region specialises in the production of a certain agricultural produce, hence enabling its people to come up with various dishes using that certain ingredient.”
And Chef Gonzalez, chef and co-owner of Gallery Vask, the sole Philippine restaurant on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list, adds “Other people, not just Filipinos, want to learn about what’s locally available in the Philippines and therefore Filipinos have started to become even more proud of their cuisine and produce.”
Read more about the growing international popularity of Filipino cuisine: On The Rise: Filipino Cuisine