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Award-Winning Chefs Gathered at the first European Culinary Week in the Country

Fourteen award-winning chefs came together in Cebu to celebrate the first European Culinary Week in the Philippines.

Award-winning chefs came together in 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 was held from September 10 – 16, 2018 at the Crimson Mactan Resort & Spa.

Designed to be a celebration of European Cuisine, this week-long tour featured 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 shared, “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 pilinuts, 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 was a series of five events: The European Culinary GI Lunch & 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 shares, “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.”

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Events

5 Tips on How to Make the Most of Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Cebu 2019

The world’s biggest 24-hour Book Sale happens until August 26, 2019 at the IEC Convention Center in Cebu. Here’s how to make the most of it!

From comics to romance novels, general reference to interactive children’s books–there is a book for everyone. One can never have too many books, and what better way to stock up on new titles than by visiting the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale as it returns to Cebu for the second time! Yes, you have read it right. The World’s Biggest Book Sale is happening NOW!

Catch the 24-hour Book Sale happening until August 26, 2019 at the IEC Convention Center where more than a million of books, many new titles, and whopping discounts of 50% -90% await you.

Here are five tips to maximize the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Cebu experience:

  1. Plan your outfit and strategy.

It’s important to think about comfort and how you’ll manage your time before dropping by the Sale considering that there are thousands of books to browse through at the venue. Make your book hunt as hassle-free as possible. Wear comfortable shoes and make a list of books or genres to prioritize. Also, it is also best to have a full meal before visiting the Sale since food and beverages are prohibited inside.

  1. Share your love for reading.

Books influence lives by educating, inspiring and empowering readers. Drop by Red Readerhood corner and donate books to benefit Gawad Kalinga communities and books collected from the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Cebu will be distributed to Barangay reading centers. Be a force for change and support Big Bad Wolf Books’ advocacy of changing the world one book at a time.

  1. Books make perfect gift ideas

Surprise loved ones with a book or two. It is also never too early to start shopping for Christmas so take advantage of the Sale’s big discounts and a wide selection of books. There’s a wide array of titles and genres apt for every member of the family and barkada. The Magical Books with augmented reality technology are perfect for kids and young learners.

  1. Invite friends or make new ones.

Book hunting is more fun with great company with whom you can share book recommendations with or help on your hunt. Share the good news by inviting friends to the Sale. Or leave the Sale with new friends. It’s always a great experience to hang out with fellow bookworms.

  1. Drop by the Sale again.

With thousands of books available, it would be difficult to inspect the entire selection in just a few hours. Visit the Sale again to find new titles as the books will be replenished regularly throughout the Sale duration. And don’t forget to follow the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale’s social media pages for real-time updates.

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale specializes in providing the widest selection of books possible at the lowest possible prices to encourage people of all ages to discover the joys of affordable, accessible reading.

For more information, like @bbwbooksphilippines on Facebook and follow @bbwbooksph on Instagram.

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Events

The Best Lechoneros in Cebu Gather at Mactan Newtown’s Cebu Lechon Festival 2019

The Cebu Lechon Festival gathers some of the best lechon-makers in Cebu Island at the 500-seater Mactan Alfresco inside The Mactan Newtown township.

In any Filipino festival or celebration, nothing quite whets the appetite and brings excitement to the palate than seeing the gloriousness of a roasted ‘lechon’ laid beautifully on the buffet table.

While the Philippines is oozing with all sorts of varieties of this now world-famous dish, all delicious in their own way, ask any food-loving Filipino where the best lechon comes from and the response will almost likely be unanimous – Cebu.

There is no denying that the Cebu Lechon is hands-down the best and the most delicious there is, and that no trip to the Queen City of the South will be complete without taking a bite of its famous crunchy golden skin, and juicy, tender and flavorsome meat.  But there is more to lechon than meets the eyes and the palate. This beloved dish is a culinary masterpiece itself that requires long hours in the roasting pit and skills to achieve that perfect balance of meat and fat, and overall flavor.

The world-famous Cebu lechon, along with the rich history, artistry and skills that go into preparing this beloved dish, is the highlight of this year’s Cebu Lechon Festival, spearheaded by The Mactan Newtown, in partnership with the City Government of Lapu-Lapu and the Department of Tourism Region 7 Office.

Now on its third year, the annual gastronomic and cultural celebration promises an authentic Cebuano fiesta experience with its mouthwatering array of lechon varieties
from lechon-makers coming from different parts of Cebu province and a vibrant host of cultural spectacles and performances starting today until August 12.

“We want to capitalize on the popularity of the Cebu lechon to bring awareness to small- scale and less commercialized lechon businesses. Apart from providing these businesses with the needed platform to showcase their products and help them grow, our goal is to drive tourism in this part of Cebu and eventually create more employment and livelihood opportunities for the locals,” says Graham Coates, Head of Megaworld
Lifestyle Malls.

The finest Cebu lechons in one location

The Cebu Lechon Festival gathers some of the best lechon-makers in Cebu Island at the 500-seater Mactan Alfresco inside The Mactan Newtown township, giving guests the rare chance to sample and savor mouthwatering varieties of the Cebu lechon along with a delicious array of lechon-themed dishes and lechon pairings all in one place.

Some of the locally homegrown lechon brands participating in this year’s festival include House of Lechon, Ayers Lechon, Pelyns Lechon, Augustus Lechon, Golden Cowrie Lechon Belly, Yobob Lechon, and Jojo and Mikays Lechon. During the festival, the lechon will be sold between P400 to P600 per kilo from participating lechon-makers.

Festival-goers can also immerse themselves through the entire lechon preparation process at Mactan Alfresco’s very own Lechon Pit. Here, they can witness lechon- makers perfect their craft and see firsthand how a lechon is made right before their very eyes—from seasoning to roasting at the coal pit, to portioning and serving on their own plates.

For an even more unique and immersive dining experience, guests can devour their lechon and chosen lechon dishes and pairings inside the comforts of colorful and iconic Philippine jeepneys stationed within the Mactan Alfresco complex.

“This will be a very festive Filipino celebration of the renowned Cebu Lechon. We will have ‘fiesta sa nayon’ games, barrio fiesta dancers and drumbeaters, fire dancers and even belly dancers to entertain visitors and guests of the festival,” adds Coates.

An authentic Cebuano fiesta

Festival-goers can enjoy an immersive cultural experience with a variety of Cebuano and lechon-flavored activities highlighted by the Lechon Exhibit on August 9, which will feature delicious varieties of Cebu lechon from the province’s best lechon-makers.

Highlighting the celebrations is a colorful grand street performance to be participated in by various cultural dance groups, street dancers, marching bands, and the Sinulog Festival Queen.

A traditional boodle fight featuring participants from the annual Ironman 70.3 Philippines and lechon sellers will also be held on August 9, following the street performance, while live musical performances and a grand fireworks display that will illuminate the skies of The Mactan Newtown will cap off the festivities.

The highlights of the celebration will happen on August 9 to 11. The weekend will be highlighted by the Lechon Fest Grand Party, where guests can feast on different varieties of Cebu Lechon, grilled meat, and seafood while being treated to cultural dance numbers and live performances from buskers, local bands and stand-up comedians.

Guests, meanwhile, can also learn more about the Cebu Lechon and have their photos taken at the different installations on display at the venue including a lechon-themed Philippine jeepney during the entire festival’s run, or bring home souvenir items from Mactan Alfresco’s Souvenir Shop.

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Culture

Here Are the Highlights of Fete de la Musique 2019

Local talent took centerstage at _ACOUSTIC: Fete de la Musique 2019.

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