ILOILO City – The Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 6 with the Region 6 offices of Department of Agriculture (DA) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) hosts this year’s Flavors of Western Visayas-The Hidden Treasures, an Agro-Industrial Exhibition and Trade Fair at Iloilo Convention Center on Oct. 9 to 10.

The two-day gathering showcases the traditional Western Visayas regional slow food cooking and organic farms. The event also includes the 5th Tabu-an Ilonggo Heritage Cooking Competition.

“The Flavors of Western Visayas-The Hidden Treasures is an event that helps in preserving the native Ilonggo heritage and cuisine. This is also a way to showcase and share with others the Ilonggo cuisine that has been passed on from generation to generation. I believe that the travel experience of tourists in Western Visayas will be more memorable because they will have deeper understanding of the culture of the place through the native food they eat,” DOT 6 regional director Atty. Helen Catalbas said.

Various renowned Filipino chefs and food writers are present in the Agro-Industrial Exhibition and Trade Fair. Food writer and historian Micky Fenix is discussing “Do you Know your Western Visayas Cooking?” Joby Arandela, Chairman of Zarraga Integrated Diversified Organic Farmers Association (ZIDOFA) will talk about “Rice…The Soul Food” and Award-winning book author and Celebrity Chef Myke Tatung Sarthou will discuss “Similarities and Differences of Visayas Cuisines.”

A panel discussion entitled “Why Organic?” with Pamela Henares of BuroBuro Spring Farm in Negros Occidental, Jacinto Osano, TESDA Competency Assessor for Agri-Crops and Organic Production and Chuck Janolino, Vice President for Operation of AgriPacific. The panel discussion on “Culinary Tourism” is attended by Celebrity Chef Sandy Daza, Award-winning Food Writer Chef Ige Ramos, Senior Chef Instructor of Center for Culinary Arts Chef Trisha Ocampo and Antique Provincial Tourism Officer and Chef Ramlo Villaluna.

Chef Don Colmenares is doing cooking demo on “Food Diversity of Western Visayas” and Celebrity Chef Boy Logro on “Bounty of the Sea.” On the other hand, Chef Raphael Angelo Cristobal and Chef Jorn Erik Fonseca of Purple Yam is doing cooking demo using “Western Visayas Endemic Herbs and Spices.”/PN

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