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Madrid Fusion 2018 set

/ 05:10 AM September 24, 2017

A fun game of blind wine tasting for the launch of Sofitel Wine Days.

The Department of Tourism has formally announced the Philippines will once again hold Madrid Fusion Manila from April 19 to 21, 2018.

Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo and Madrid Fusion director Lourdes Plana signed the contract before the media and select chefs last Sept. 15.


Verna Buensuceso, who has been a real force behind the success of Madrid Fusion Manila the past three years as director, revealed the 2018 theme was “Innovating Tradition.”

In line with this, Madrid Fusion has selected the following chefs to be flown to Manila for the gastronomic conference:


From Spain: (1) Iñigo Lavado of Restaurant Singular in Irun, Spain, who is trained under both chefs Alain Ducasse and Ferran Adria thus honing skills in both traditional French cooking methods and molecular gastronomy; (2) Diego Gallegos, better known as “the caviar chef,” whose restaurant Sollo in Malaga, Spain, has one Michelin star; (3) Pepe Solla of Michelin-starred Casa Solla in Pontevedra, Spain was recognized at the Atlantic Arc Festival in 2013 as the Best Chef of Galicia; (4) Javier Estevez of La Tasqueria in Madrid, who received the Chef Revelacion award at Madrid Fusion 2016; and (5) Roberto Ruiz of Punto MX in Madrid, the first Mexican restaurant in Europe with a Michelin star.

From the United States, two James Beard awardees are arriving. One of them is proudly Filipino: Curtis Duffy of three Michelin-starred Grace in Chicago, Illinois, who was recognized as Best Chef, Great Lakes at the 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards. The other is Paul Qui of Kuneho in Austin, Texas, who won in the reality cooking show Top Chef and who was named Best Chef, Southwest by the James Beard Foundation in 2012.

This 2018 may also see the most diverse representation of speakers from Asia: From Japan, Hajime Yoneda of two Michelin-starred Hajime in Osaka, Japan; from Hong Kong, Matt Abergel of hipster favorite Ronin; From Korea, Mingoo Kang of one Michelin-starred Mingles in Seoul (ranked No. 15 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017); from Singapore, LG Han of Labyrinth, which just recently earned a Michelin, and Spanish-Australian Aitor Jeronimo Orive of Iggy’s, for years considered Singapore’s best restaurant.

There is no word yet on who the Filipino speakers will be. I think it will be worthwhile to hear from masters of tradition before considering how Filipino cooking traditions can be innovated.

Whoever they choose for the event, it’s certainly something to look forward to this 2018.

Sofitel wine days

In the meantime, let’s drink!


Sofitel Wine Days was launched last week. It’s that time of the year when all Sofitels all over the world celebrate wine.

So if you would like to learn more about wine—or just to hone your wine connoisseur skills—head over to Le Bar at Sofitel.

From Sept. 22 to 23, Le Bar will offer selections of Argentinian wines; from Sept. 29 to 30, they will offer wines from the Loire Valley; from October 6 to 7, it will be wines from Burgundy; from Oct. 13 to 14, California wines will take center stage; from Oct. 20 to 21, wines from Bordeaux; and from Oct. 27 to 28, wines from Australia.

If you prefer your wines with Sunday brunch instead, wines from the following countries/wine regions will be served at Spiral: Sept. 24, Argentina; Oct. 1, Loire Valley; Oct. 8, Burgundy; Oct. 15, California; Oct. 22, Vendange Brunch; Oct. 29, Australia. Remember that Spiral has that dreamy cheese room so you won’t run out of cheese to pair with your wine.

There is no better way to learn about wines than by tasting as much as you can. For instance, while I’ve always had a bias for French wines, I happily learned at the blind tasting at Sofitel’s wine days launch that the American Kendall Jackson may be much better than the very French Clarendelle, though still behind the Lafite Rothschild. Of course, this also all depends on the vintage you try … so I still have a lot of wine tastings to do. Santé!

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TAGS: Department of Tourism, Lourdes Plana, Madrid Fusion 2018, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo
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