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PIA Press Release

Tourism sector gears up to promote indigenous food

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (31 July) -- The tourism sector is bent on elevating indigenous foods to global standards and become more competitive in the international market because food always goes with tourism

Mary Ann M. Montemayor, managing director of Konkordans, the event organizer of the Mindanao Culinary Festival (MCF) 2008 speaking at the Club 888 Forum of the Marco Polo Davao said that destinations cannot be promoted without food.

She said while Davao already had several indigenous food preparations they need still to bring these local delicacies of food to higher level.

She cited that the fruit Durian has already been elevated to gourmet standard although she said there is a lot of catching up to do.

"We have to sell Durian in a gourmet manner," she said.

The tuna carting she said was the center stage of the previous MCF and it had been gaining ground.

The MCF '08 on August 18-21 will be its 7th that is being looked forward to by culinary enthusiasts from all over Mindanao.

Known as the biggest and most prestigious culinary even in Mindanao, the MCF Summit will be conducted in two main courses. One is the appetizing eliminations for selected competitions during the Kadayawan Festival from August 18-21, 2008 where several schools and establishments participating. The other is on learn-all-you-can on September 25-27, 2008 at The Venue in Davao City where a grand buffet of valuable lectures, seminars, workshops, demos and competitions will be held.

The MCF Summit theme is "Indigenous Flavors, Global Tastes" but the bigger challenge of the theme is learning how to position the island's indigenous food in the global market where flavor and every detail must meet the required standard of excellence.

Emilie Dalisay of the Davao Tourism Association (DATA) said that culinary students benefited a lot in the MCF and in fact she said gave them ample experience that will help them land in good jobs.

"They are now employed in the industry where some in cruise ship abroad, F&B in hotels both local and international," she said.

Meanwhile she said that the MCF really had made a lot of improvement in terms of our food preparation and Davao City is getting to be known in terms its cuisine in Asia and other foreign countries like the US and Europe.

But rating the Davao cuisine she gave it a 7 mark and this she said has still to penetrate the global market.

Marco Polo Davao marketing manager Art Boncato on the other hand said that food comprises about 40 percent of the total revenues of their establishment and most likely food will be about that figure in the totality of the tourism industry or even more. (PIA) [top]

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