Heading for another destination of unknown territory to me, I am received in Manila with smiles and a colourful necklace in a city of 14 million people.
I am extremely happy to be back in Asia from where I only have fond memories, and it is without a doubt the food scene that with its diversity most inspires my home cooking.
It is a great honour to be invited to the other side of the world and to have an opportunity to talk about the restaurant and other projects going on in Bolivia. I am stunned by the hospitality of the Philippine-people and the genuine smiles meeting you from everyone and everywhere.
Photograph by Kaimila Seilder
Madrid Fusión Manila is a huge event that draws people from all over the world, and in collaboration with the The Tourist Board of the Philippines have seen the huge potential that this beautiful country holds.
From the lively street food stands to contemporary fine dining and Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016, Margarita Forés, leading the Slow Food movement with a young and competent group of gastro-entrepreneurs in the direction of a world known food destination, it is very easy to make friends here and to spend hours talking and discovering amazing produce – and more than anything, the will to be heard.
We try food from all over the country and the diversity is stunning. Everything from the smooth Sisig noodle dish to amazing curries and, well … an excellent corn whiskey. Since Manila is a city of many cultures we also head for Korean barbecue and to China Town for Peking duck,- and of course you haven’t been to South East Asia without an incredible massage.
Unfortunately my body tells me that my quick trip around the world is too crazy and that I should get some sleep, and maybe for the better since the goodbye party is filled with crazy Spanish colleagues who always make it difficult to go home in time. Good to catch up with Rodrigo de La Calle and Josean Alija, two of the chefs I most admire for their subtle but complex kitchens.
There are simply too many reasons to come back and follow up on all these wonderful contacts and Margarita, and I agree on a fundraiser for Action Against Hunger later this year.