Fourteen award-winning chefs are coming together in Manila and Cebu to celebrate the first European Culinary Week in the Philippines. Organized by the EU-Philippines Business Network (EPBN) and co-funded by the European Union, the European Culinary Week will be held from September 10 to 16 at Grand Hyatt Manila and the Crimson Mactan Resort & Spa.
Designed to be a celebration of European cuisine, this week-long tour will feature cuisine by award-winning and Michelin-Star chefs.
The European Culinary Week aims to spark interest in European cuisine, showcase European products, provide opportunities for culinary students to work and meet with established European chefs, and encourage both European and Philippine companies to import European products to the Philippines and promote Geographical indications (GI), a system that identifies products as originating in a territory of a particular country, region, or locality that assures its quality and reputation in relation to its geographical origin.
EU Ambassador Franz Jessen shares, “We have a unique way of trying to protect well-known products. To take a very straightforward example: Champagne. We all know what Champagne is when we buy a bottle in the supermarket and we know that because it’s a name, it’s a brand, that through Geographical Indication, is protected. The champagne inside the bottle is produced according to certain criteria, in a certain geographical area. That is good for consumers but also good for producers, because the producers then can make sure that the Champagne is being sold with a premium that it deserves. Providing this level protection of Geographical indications to food is useful because of their potential to add value and promote rural socio-economic development. The Philippines has a range of local products that correspond to the concept of geographical indications that could be developed, like Bicol pili nuts, Davao pomelos, T’nalak weaving, Guimaras mangoes. Evidence shows that prices (of products covered by GI) increase by twofold; as do production and exports. Cambodia’s experience with Kampot pepper is a case in point. Prices for black pepper went up to $28 a kg.”
Ambassador Jessen said that the European Culinary Week is also about nurturing the people-to-people links between the Filipinos and the Europeans because both share the same passion for food, families, camaraderie and togetherness as he enjoined everyone to celebrate European cuisine.
The European Culinary Week is a series of five events: The European Culinary GI Lunch and Exhibit, the European Culinary Cooking Demos, the European Culinary Charity Dinner, the European Culinary Week Exclusive Lunch or Dinner, Culinaria, and the European Culinary Weekend. With these events, Filipino food enthusiasts will receive a unique culinary experience, while serving as a platform to showcase European produce. The European Culinary Week is expected to host guests such as C-Level Executives, members of the diplomatic core, key industry representatives from the EU and Filipino food and beverage industry, food aficionados and connoisseurs, among others.
European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) President and EPBN Steering Committee Chair Guenter Taus states, “The European Culinary Week is not only a celebration of European culture and cuisine, but also a means of encouraging more business between Europe and the Philippines. Through events such as this, businesses from both sides will be able to come together and establish potential partnerships to further both economic and cultural relations between the EU and the Philippines.”
The Manila leg of the European Culinary Week will be held in partnership with Grand Hyatt Manila. “As the newest luxury hotel in the Philippines, it’s just befitting that we host an event of this magnitude, not only to extend our support to the EPBN, but also to showcase our world-class facilities,” says Gottfried Bogensperger, General Manager and Area Vice President for Grand Hyatt Manila. “The hotel is the perfect setting as we boast of a stunning show kitchen in our Grand Ballroom, where the incoming Michelin star chefs can work their magic, out in the open for everyone to see.”
The European Culinary Week is organized by the EU-Philippines Business Network, a project co-funded by the EU and implemented by a consortium of European Chambers of Commerce based in the Philippines.