DOT offices abroad promote Filipino Food Month with hotel, restaurant tie-ups

Crispy pork belly by Chef Erica Paredes, who will soon be opening her restaurant Reyna in Paris. (Photo from Paredes’ IG account)

DINERS abroad will be able to sample Filipino heritage dishes as the Department of Tourism (DOT) promotes Filipino Food month this April.

“Food is one of the ways foreign tourists get to know our culture better,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat in a Viber message to the BusinessMirror. “Gastronomy is not just about food. It is a way of promoting understanding among different cultures, and bringing people and traditions closer together,” she added.

DOT-San Francisco, for instance, will celebrate Filipino Restaurant Month in Canada, while DOT-Tokyo will promote Filipino cuisine through a Philippine Food Fair at a popular 5-star hotel.

According to a DOT briefer, “Filipino Restaurant Month aims to increase the popularity and acceptance of Philippine cuisine among mainstream Canadians by highlighting the variety and uniqueness of Filipino food and ingredients and skills of Filipino chefs.” Running the entire month of April, participating restaurants in Ottawa, Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver will offer prix fixe menus featuring Filipino dishes.

Ukoy, adobo at the venerable Imperial Hotel

In Tokyo, the food fair will be held at Parkside Diner at the 132-year-old Imperial Hotel, in collaboration with the Philippine Embassy and Department of Agriculture. In an e-mail, Tourism Attaché Niel Ballesteros said, “The project also coincides with the celebration of the 65th  anniversary of the Normalization of Diplomatic Relations between the Philippines and Japan. The fair aims to offer and promote authentic Philippine cuisine in Japan prepared under Filipina Chef Mareve Inomata, who has already been [with] DOT-Tokyo prior to this event.”

For the month-long celebration, Parkside Diner will offer dishes such as ukoy, adobo, Vigan longganisa, and turon, along with featured Filipino cocktails like a calamansi juice-based drink called “Water Lily,” created with the help of Inomata.

“Diners can also learn more about tourist destinations in the Philippines and the various products of the country used in making the featured dishes via Parkside Diner’s electronic screen display created by the Embassy,” added Ballesteros.

New Pinoy resto in Paris

Also part of the promotions abroad is a virtual Philippine Food Tour by DOT’s Australian office while DOT-Frankfurt will support the opening of a new Filipino restaurant in Paris.

Tourism Attaché for Frankfurt Meggie Valdes shared: “Popular Filipino chef Erica Paredes is opening her own restaurant in Paris called Reyna, which gives tribute to the Filipina women who have inspired her culinary journey. She has been known to serve creative renditions of Filipino cuisine using local ingredients through pop-ups, in partnership with restaurants, and delivery services in Paris. We will support her restaurants opening in May by promoting it on our social media platforms.” Reyna will be the second restaurant in Paris serving Filipino dishes.

In Shanghai, local restaurants such as The Spot, Perch, and Yasmine Steakhouse will feature Filipino food cooked by their Filipino chefs every Sunday.    DOT-Shanghai’s target for these Sunday pop-ups are Filipino community, expats, and local Chinese. The Shanghai office will also place a special feature to highlight Philippine gastronomic offerings in popular social media platforms in China like WeChat, Weibo and Daoyuin.

For its part, DOT-Beijing will be publishing stories on Philippine food and gastronomy with its online media partners like Travelink Daily.

On the local front, DOT has partnered with the Department of Agriculture (DA), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), and the Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement (PCHM)  to support Filipino Food Month (Buwan ng Kalutong Filipino).

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