Ayala Malls brings the flavors of Spain to Cagayan de Oro through The Gastronomy Festival, a day-long showcase of music, film, and delicious Filipino-Spanish fare, in celebration of the arrival of Madrid Fusión in Manila.

Considered Spain’s most important international gastronomy event for progressive haute cuisine, Madrid Fusión will be held outside Madrid for the first time ever, and brought to Manila through  the efforts of the Department of Tourism as part of their ‘Visit the Philippines 2015’ project.

Madrid Fusión Manila shines the spotlight on the Philippines as an Asian center of gastronomy, and promotes the country as a top culinary destination for 2015.

But prior to Madrid Fusión Manila, which runs from April 24-26, 2015, at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Ayala Malls will bring to Cagayan de Oro a hint of this exclusive event with The Gastronomy Festival scheduled from11am-8pm this Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the Centrio Mall Activity Center.

“We recognize Madrid Fusión Manila as a much awaited trade event by the country’s chefs and the culinary experts. In fact, we are expecting a lot of tourists to come to the Philippines. But the fun side of the trade happens at the Ayala Malls,” said Maricris Bernardino, Ayala Malls division manager for marketing.

“Ayala Malls aims to bring Madrid Fusión Manila down to the level of the Kagay-anon consumer that won’t be heavy on their pockets,” she added.

The Gastronomy Festival at Centrio kicks off at 11:00am with a short opening program and Film Screening of “18 Comidas”, a short film in partnership with Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan and the Spanish Embassy.

The second feature film by Jorge Coira, “18 Comidas” features an unusual series of interconnected stories and improvised dialogues.

In the city of Santiago de Compostela, the meals are more important than just eating. The important conversations, socially and for all other reasons, are done around food. This happens one day with intertwined lives in the historic city.

Several characters struggle to find happiness over breakfast, lunch and dinner in the same day: a street musician who is reunited with the love of his life; a cook who dreams of being a singer; a Macedonian lost in Santiago de Compostela because of a disappointment in love; an old couple who have nothing left to say; a waiter in love with a young woman who loves another; two men in love; two drunks breakfasting on shellfish; a man who cooks while he waits for his love.

The film screening is but a prelude to Pelikula, a Spanish Foodie Film Festival that depict the rich art of gastronomy which runs from April 22-26 exclusively at Greenbelt 3 cinemas in Makati City.

The festival resumes at 3:00PM after an hour-long break with Fiesta! a food and music fest that blends the colorful worlds of gastronomy and music. The highlight of this portion of the festival is the prelude to the Cagayan de Oro Hotels and Restaurant’s (COHARA) Sinuglaw Festival, which will officially kick off on June 15 Kumbira 2015, the largest culinary event outside Metro Manila.

VIP Hotel Chef Isidro “Titing” Sobriano will conduct a demo on how to prepare this unique Kagay-anon delicacy, after which 16 other COHARA establishments will also prepare their versions to be followed by a sinuglaw food sampling, amidst the dance and music of Spain courtesy of the Capitol University Dance Troupe and classical guitarist Joshua Arrabaca.

So what’s a Kagay-anon delicacy doing in the middle of a festival celebrating Spanish gastronomy?

Seems the Madrid Fusión team who visited Manila realized that the kinilaw sets us apart from everything else in the world. They found kinilaw to be ingenious and unique, and once they learned how it had existed for over a thousand years, they chose it as a representative of every other part of the Philippines where it is served in various ways depending on the available indigenous ingredients.

Patricios’ chef and owner, Patrick Roa, the aviator son of local historian Nanette Roa, has come up with a basic kinilawmade from raw tuna, cane vinegar, salt, onions, suwa (small native lime) and ginger slices, topped by the local fruit tabun-tabun that is endemic in Agusan, where the earliest forms of kinilaw were discovered. Roa added roasted pork to create another uniquely Filipino dish, the Kagay-anon sinuglaw.

And for the festival highlight, Cocinas Viajeras gets going at 5:30PM after another short break following the Fiesta!

Cocinas Viajeras (the Traveling Kitchen) features Seda Centrio Chef Jimmy Navaja with his Bacalao; Monster Kitchen Chefs Leonilo Mercado and Rodney Seraspe with their Pollo al Chilidron and White Bean, and Chorizo Chard Bruschetta; and Culinary Institute of Cagayan de Oro Chef Anthony Troy Morales and his rendition of Paella Valenciana and Jamon Croquettas with Boneless Bangus Tinapa.

For more details on The Gastronomy Festival, visit Ayala Malls on Facebook at facebook.com/AyalaMalls360; on Twitter @AyalaMalls; on Instagram @iloveayalamalls; or log on to www.ayalamalls.com.ph.

Madrid Fusión Manila 2015 is a joint undertaking of the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DoT) the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), Madrid Fusión organizers Foro de Debate and Arum Estrategias de Internacionalización. For more information on Madrid Fusión Manila, visit madridfusionmanila.com.

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