Madrid Fusion Manila 2016, The Manila Galleon: East meets West


“Philippine cuisine will share the spotlight with the different cuisines of the world, as foreign celebrity chefs bring the influences of their culture to the table this year at Madrid Fusion Manila.” Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary, Ramon Jimenez Jr.

The most important international gastronomical event in the world is back here again in Manila! Last April 07 to 09, foodies, rock-star chefs, and food lovers celebrated and explored their passion for food with the three-day Madrid Fusion Manila event held in SMX Convention Center.


This year the theme celebrated the 450th year anniversary of the Galleon Trade, which was the trade route that Spain ran from 1565 to 1815 between Acapulco and Manila, The galleon ships were laden with silk, spices, and other good from China, bringing them to Mexico through the Philippines in voyages.

Now with the advent of technology, sharing of ideas and fusing of flavors are easier and faster compared to how they did it in the past. However, the Galleon Trade, shaped and molded our cuisine today, with the spices we are use for cooking, to the ingredients we put in, and to the method of cooking.

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Mr. Antonio Sanchez de Mora

Mr. Antonio Sanchez de Mora’s dissertation reflected upon “Flavor that Sailed Across the Sea”. In line with this, his exhibition will be inaugurated in October 2016 at the National Museum of Manila and will focus on the documentary heritage as a means to understand the Spanish-Filipino gastronomic traditions. He further explains that “The Philippines is a unique country, a meeting point between Spain and Asia.”

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Chef Enrique Olvera

Chef Enrique Olvera (Pujol, No. 16 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2015), in his talk entitled “Cilantro O Perejil” (Coriander or Parsley), questioned the concept of a “national cuisine”, and explained that because of the Galleon trade between Acapulco and Manila, Filipinos and Mexicans not only share similar ingredients such as mangoes, bananas, and watermelons, bu also techniques and ideas.


Chef Leah Cohen

Chef Leah Cohen (Pig & Khao), stressed in her talk that “Filipino is such a great cuisine, and misunderstood.” A half-Filipino herself, she said that America’s love affair with Filipino food “started with Andrew Zimmern and I get tons of media requests because everyone’s interested now.”


Chef Kalel Chan’s Itlog na Maalat +++

Everyday Madrid Fusion Manila visitors are treated to a well curated meal. The first day focused on the sense of Taste or “Panlasa”. Chef Kalel Chan’s take on Maalat or Salty was his pumped up Itlog na maalat, or salted egg seved with Pako or fiddle-head fern, and scallions.


Chef Him Uy de Baron’s Taba ng Talangka

Chef Uy de Baron’s take on Umami/Savory or “Malinamnam”, consist of Bringhe Balls with Taba ng Talangka and Grilled Suahe in Chili Coconut Sauce.


Chef Rafael Jardeleza’s Sarsiadong Kambing sa Bugnay Wine

Using Tablea, Chef Jardeleza made a Goat stew having picked the “Mapait” or Bitter flavor as theme.


The STAR of first day’s lunch, was from the Lechon Diva, Dedet dela Fuente’s Sisig Rice stuffed de Leche. 🙂



Last day of the food convention focused on Street-food, our brilliant Filipino chefs made our local road side snacks into fine-dining worthy dishes.


Chef Carlos Garcia of The Black Pig’s Coconut Flan Taho


Chef Margarita Fores’ Dirty Ice Cream in Pan De Sal


Chef Justin Golangco’s Kesong Puti and Aligue on Pan De Sal Crostini

“Good food has always played a big part in the fun element of our culture and a vital component of Filipino hospitality.” Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary, Ramon Jimenez Jr.

Disclaimer: It was a media event. Everything written here is entirely based on my own opinion, my own biases, and my own insights.

Madrid Fusion Manila

SMX Convention Center, Pasay City, Manila, Philippines

Date: April 07 to 09, 2016

Register: (02) 893 7973



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Stay hungry,


Nathaniel Uy

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