MAKATI, Philippines –Traditional cooking techniques and native ingredients will be at the spotlight for the fourth serving of the Madrid Fusion Manila (MFM) 2018.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo announced during the MFM 2017 Appreciation Gathering that next year’s theme for the culinary festival is “Innovating Tradition”.

“The chefs of today’s world are now going back to their roots looking into their pantries and discovering what is available in their own locales – produce ingredients, forgotten or age-old techniques, making them new and responsive to our time,” said Teo, who led the agreement signing for MFM 2018 at The Conservatory of The Peninsula Manila.

DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr., Lourdes Plana of Foro de Debate, Iñigo Iribarnegaray of Vocento joined Secretary Teo to ink next year’s Madrid Fusion Manila to be held on April 19 to 21 at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City.

“For our first two years, we were establishing the Philippines as a center of gastronomy but now that the awareness is building we need to come up with the tour packages already to further promote the country as a culinary destination,” shared DOT Director and MFM project director Verna Buensuceso.

Foreign travel and tour operators met with Filipino counterparts during the Culinary Tourism Travel Exchange, an added feature of MFM 2017, to discuss collaborations and partnerships on culinary tour programs.

“We want to have more buyers and tour operators abroad coming for the promotion of Philippine culinary and farm tourism next year,” Buensuceso explained.

Among the roster of chefs bannering next year’s Madrid Fusion Manila are Michelin Stars-studded Curtis Duffy, Hajime Yoneda, Aitor Jerónimo Orive, Lg Han, Mingoo Kang, Diego Gallegos, Pepe Solla, and Roberto Ruiz.

Joining them are Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant 2017 awardee Matt Abergel, Top Chef Season 9 Winner Paul Qui, Iñigo Lavado, and Javier Estevez.

DOT Secretary Teo also handed out tokens of appreciation to event partners, guest chefs, sponsors, media partners and supporters, associations and schools, supporting agencies and event manager for the record breaking Madrid Fusion Manila 2017.

“This project has effectively bound all these sectors together. We are rallying behind one common goal of establishing the Philippines as a center of gastronomy on this part of the world. We are making great headway. And for this, we are thankful to all of you,” said Teo.

MFM is the only Asian edition of Madrid Fusion, and is regarded as the single most important international gastronomy congress in the 21st century.

“We at the DOT and our travel industry partners hope to develop and promote culinary tourism and spur tourism arrivals,” ended Teo.

L-R DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr., DOT Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo, Lourdes Plana of Foro de Debate, Iñigo Iribarnegaray of Vocento signed the agreement for Madrid Fusion Manila 2018

Madrid Fusion Manila project director Verna Buensuceso and tourism chief Wanda Teo enjoy appetizers of next year’s gastronomy congress.

DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. invites all chefs and foodies around the world to join the food innovation in Manila.

“Madrid Fusion Manila has effectively bound government agencies, private sector, media, academe, and local communities together. We are rallying behind one common goal of establishing the Philippines as a center of gastronomy on this part of the world. We are making great headway. And for this, we are thankful to all of you,” said Teo.

Awarding of the tokens of appreciation to all event partners, guest chefs, sponsors, media partners and supporters, associations and schools, supporting agencies and event manager for the success of Madrid Fusion Manila 2017