One of the questions I get asked most often is what the latest trend in restaurants is.
Getting ahead of the trend before the tipping point is crucial in an increasingly competitive restaurant landscape in Manila.
Madrid Fusion is always at the forefront of restaurant trends--from Molecular Gastronomy to the Post Avant-Garde Culinary Movement.
I've been fortunate to have been able to attend Madrid Fusion in both Madrid and Manila for the past 3 years. Here are the 10 things I've learned regarding restaurant trends...
1. Heritage Food is In!
It's now all about getting the best local ingredients and using age-old fermenting techniques and traditional slow cooking methods.
It's not so much about food in the city centers like Manila anymore; people are also searching for food from as far south as Mindanao, or heritage food from passionate cooks from the other provinces. We should be seeing more innovation from the provinces invading the Manila scene.
2. Fun Dining (vs. Fine Dining)
We now live in an era of keeping it real, creative, and fun versus the era of extravagance, excessive luxury, and high prices.
I like restaurants like Le Servan in Paris more compared to the other traditional fine dining restaurants. More chefs are transitioning from fine dining to fun dining because the millennial dining crowd does loves fine food, but also good restaurant design and a more relaxed, fun environment.
3. Social Entreprise is a Winning Strategy!
It's not enough to just have a successful restaurant or a flourishing chef career, it's also about inclusivity and the local communities you help along the way.
Maria Fernanda Di Giacobbe was the winner of the Basque Culinary World Prize in 2016 for helping the Chocolate Women of Venezuela with their chocolate production processes, fermentation, and marketing, as well as inspiring a bean-to-bar movement around the country.
4. Fusion Food is out!
There is a demand for more honesty in food and an exchange of cultures rather than just the superficial cross-fertilization of cuisine.
The biggest mistake of restaurateurs who don't attend Madrid Fusion is that they think Fusion Food is back, and marketing restaurants based on molecular techniques is in. This often happens when you build a restaurant with the sole purpose of making money and engaging consultants who are not aware of what's really happening in the culinary world.
5. It's all about Teamwork
A successful restaurant is a product of a diverse, inspired, and passionate culinary team committed to innovation and continuous improvement.
I love how Leandro Fernández and Chef Jesús Sánchez in last January's Madrid Fusion role played the different creative personalities in the kitchen needed for a good, successful restaurant team.
6. Chef Masterminding is Key!
Madrid Fusion celebrated its 15th Birthday this year and they reminisced the time when all the Spanish Chefs banded together and shared their own techniques and discoveries to elevate the entire culinary landscape in Spain.
We started our own journey during the first Madrid Fusion in 2015 with the intention to make Manila the culinary hub of Asia with the help of our Spanish Chef brothers. The key in making this vision happen is to inspire young chefs to take the challenge and create a collaborative environment where everyone will succeed.
7. Sustainability is the only way to go!
If we continue to eat meat and seafood at the rate we are eating today, soon we won't have enough animals to consume for our 7.5 billion people.
Now is the time to act about this problem, and this year's Madrid Fusion Manila theme is all about "Towards A Sustainable Gastronomic Planet." We need to question whether the meat and seafood we are serving and eating are sustainable. Can we create more yummy dishes out of healthy vegetables? How can we teach our kids to be more conscious about sustainability?
8. Travel as an Inspiration
For Gen X chefs, success is all about the status, but for the Millennial Chefs, Success = Travel.
This is the biggest trend in the restaurant scene where the chefs travel to get to know other food cultures, get inspired by ingredients and methods, and be more compassionate about the situation of other people in the world. You educate yourself by eating around the world and then going home and enriching the experience of the community around you.
9. The Media landscape is Changing!
We are now in the Digital Age and the media landscape is changing. The world of traditional, print, and online media is converging and restaurants need to be comfortable with engaging specific niches, different social channels, and the ever-evolving habits of eaters.
One of the biggest benefits of attending events like Madrid Fusion you get to meet the leading food journalist, bloggers, and influencers. Building lasting relationships with each personality is key in marketing restaurants in the digital age!
10. Madrid Fusion is where you learn about Restaurant Trends
Don't miss Madrid Fusion Manila on April 6-8, 2017 at the SMX Convention Center!
Learn from the best chefs from Spain, Europe, America, Asia, and the Philippines!
• Jordi Roca and Alejandra Rivas Gomez (EL CELLER DE CAN ROCA) - Spain
• Josean Alija (NERUA GUGGENHEIM BILBAO) - Spain
• Rodrigo De La Calle (EL INVERNADERO) - Spain
• Pedro Subijana (AKELAŔE) - Spain
• Kiko Moya (L´Escaleta) - Spain
• Paco Pérez (MIRAMAR) - Spain
• Gert De Mangeleer (HERTOG JAN) - Belgium
• Magnus Ek (OAXEN KROG & SLIP) - Sweden
• Tatiana and Katia Levha (Le Servan) - France
• Simon Rogan (L’ENCLUME) - United Kingdom
• Kamilla Seidler and Michelangelo Cestari (GUSTU) - Bolivia
• Sally Camacho Mueller - AMERICA
• Julien Royer (ODETTE) - Singapore
• Tony Yoo (DOOREYOO) - Korea
• Ray Adriansyah and Eelke Plasmeijer (LOCAVORE) - Indonesia
• Vicky Lau (TATE DINING ROOM AND BAR) - Hong Kong
• Josh Boutwood (THE TEST KITCHEN) - Philippines
• Robby Goco (GREEN PASTURES) - Philippines
• Gene Gonzalez (CAFÉ YSABEL) - Philippines
• Jordy Navarra (TOYO EATERY) - Philippines
Here's the complete roster of exhibitors for the Fusión Manila International Gastronomy Expo: http://madridfusionmanila.com/trade-exhibit
Don't miss the much awaited regional lunches with the following themes:
DAY ONE: RICE • Curator: Angelo Comsti
DAY TWO: NOSE-TO-TAIL • Curators: Nina Daza Puyat, Sasha Lim Uy Mariposa, Idge Mendiola
DAY THREE: CORN AND SEAFOOD • Curators: Alicia Sy
Consider this your last call for registration for Madrid Fusion Manila!
To register and know more, visit http://madridfusionmanila.com/international-gastronomy-congress
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: Our Awesome Planet is an official media partner of Madrid Fusion Manila. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Don't miss the chance to meet your favorite chefs during Madrid Fusion Manila 2017! This could be the last...