What’s Cookin’


September 19, 2017 | BY Shauna Popple Williams

The much-awaited line-up for Madrid Fusion Manila 2018, that’s what!

IMG_0274.JPGL-R Ambassador Carlos Salinas, former Philippine Ambassador to Spain, Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat of the Department of Agriculture, Lourdes Plana, Director of Madrid Fusion and Foro de Debate, Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo of the Department of Tourism, José Primo Santos Mendoza, Jr. of the Spanish Commercial Office, Director Verna Buensuceso, Project Director of MFM 2017

Last Friday, September 15, Madrid Fusion Manila [MFM] officials together with Department of Tourism Secretary, Wanda Teo, and the Spanish Embassy hosted an appreciation gathering at the Conservatory of The Peninsula Manila.

The Director of Foro de Debate and Madrid Fusión, Lourdes Plana and the Business Director of Vocento (the agency staging Madrid Fusión), Iñigo Iribarnegaray, specially flew in for the occasion to sign on the dotted line for the annual and highly anticipated MFM, happening this coming April 19 - 21, 2018.

IMG_0274.JPGMFM 2018 contract signing: L-R Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, Jr. of the Department of Tourism, Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo of the Department of Tourism, Ms. Lourdes Plana, Director of Foro de Debate and Founder of MFM, Mr. Iñigo Iribarnegaray, Business Director of Vocento 

 As part of the program and to extend MFM’s gratitude to all those involved these past three years was the awarding of special plaques to event partners, guest chefs, sponsors, the media, agencies and supporting associations and schools.  Post-contract signing, Teo and Plana were very excited and thrilled to announce the 12 confirmed chefs for MFM 2018 to date. Here they are:  

JAVIER ESTÉVEZ of La Tasquería in Madrid, Spain

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Previously a contestant on Top Chef (Spain), he is a Gastronomic Ambassador of Madrid as well as a Chef Revelación awardee at the Madrid Fusión 2016.

IÑIGO LAVADO of Singular in Irún, Spain

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Known for his “singular food” philosophy he is a Chef Revelación awardee at the Madrid Fusión 2005. He trained under the tutelage of chefs Alain Ducasse, Ferran Adrià and Pedro Subijana.

 ROBERTO RUIZ of the 1 Michelin-starred Punto MX in Madrid, Spain

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 It is the first Mexican restaurant in Europe with a Michelin star and it has also received two Repsol Suns.

PEPE SOLLA of the 1 Michelin-starred Casa Solla in Pontevedra, Spain

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The Best Chef of Galicia in 2013 at the Atlantic Arc Festival, he belongs to Grupo Nove, a 100 per cent Galician gastronomic movement that is keen to shine the spotlight on their new regional cuisine, which is based on top-quality, local raw materials and creativity.  Casa Solla also has 3 Repsol Suns.

 DIEGO GALLEGOS of the 1 Michelin-starred Sollo in Málaga, Spain

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A cook, researcher and culinary recreator known as “the caviar chef,” he is a Chef Revelación awardee at the Madrid Fusión 2015. Sollo has also received 1 Repsol Sun. 

PAUL QUI of Kuneho in Austin, Texas

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The winner of Top Chef season 9, he was voted Chef of the Year by Esquire magazine in 2014. That same year, Qui was also one of Food & Wine magazine's best new chefs and in 2013, was the winner of the S. Pellegrino Cooking Cup Young Chef of the Year. Prior to that, in 2012, the James Beard Foundation awarded him Best Chef (Southwest). 

MATT ABERGEL of Rōnin in Hong Kong


Rōnin is No. 45 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017. He is also the co-owner and Executive Chef of Yardbird and Sunday’s Grocery. Abergel worked under Masayoshi Takayama at Masa.

 MINGOO KANG of the 1 Michelin-starred Mingles in Seoul, South Korea

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Kang became the youngest head chef at Nobu Bahamas while his restaurant, Mingles, is No. 15 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017.

LG HAN of the 1 Michelin-starred Labyrinth in Singapore

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This banker-turned-chef-owner specialises in Mod-Sin (modern Singaporean) cuisine. 

AITOR JERÓNIMO ORIVE of the 1 Michelin-starred Iggy’s in Singapore

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His restaurant was No. 36 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2016 and he has worked at The Fat Duck, Mugaritz, Nerua Guggenheim Bilbao and Paco Roncero. 

HAJIME YONEDA of the 2 Michelin-starred Hajime in Osaka, Japan

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His restaurant is No. 34 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017. 

CURTIS DUFFY of the 3 Michelin-starred Grace in Chicago, Illinois

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Grace is also a Five Diamond Restaurant from AAA. He was awarded Best Chef: Great Lakes at the 2016 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards as well as the Eater’s 2013 Chef of the Year