The Department of Tourism staged its latest leg of Kain Na! Food and Travel Festival at Ayala Serin Mall in Tagaytay City last December 9 to 12, 2021 as it puts focus on the country’s distinct local flavors from various regions.
With the theme “Travelling Flavors,” looks back on the quincentennial celebrations in the Philippines, highlighting Galleon Trade which facilitated the meeting and melding of eastern and western flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques that have left an indelible mark on the Filipino culinary landscape.
According to Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat, the present time has put spotlight in the country in the food tourism landscape with unique flavors one can discover in various regions.
“Centuries later, various parts of the world have also come to know Filipino cuisine through the palates and creativity of the Filipino diaspora, who have introduced our unique flavor profiles, regional cuisines, and ingredients in a myriad of innovative and interesting ways,” Puyat said.
She added that while inbound tourism remains restricted at the moment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, food tourism is one of the best strategies to keep Filipinos remember and look forward to coming back to local destinations.
Puyat highlights the importance of continuing discussions on Filipino flavors and food tourism experiences to keep the Philippines in the hearts and minds of tourists and travelers.
Over 11 physical booths were set up in the 4-day event which featured unique products from food and farm tourism stakeholders across the country.
This year’s KAIN NA featured the ff. exhibitors:
– Muntinlupa City Women Producers Cooperative and My Little Oven By Simplicity from the National Capital Region (NCR);
– Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur (Region 1);
– Duran Farm and Myriad Farm from Region III;
– Farmshare Agri Tourism Park and Uma Verde Econature Farm Inc. from Region 4A;
– Caramay Coffee Planters and Merls Native Delicacies from Region 4B;
– Mediodia’s Delicacies and Nanay Patring Recipe & Asia Pacific Aqua Marine, Inc. from Region 6;
– Lamac Multi-Purpose Cooperative from Region 7;
– Jane’s Food Products from Region 9; and
– Alameda Farm from CARAGA.
The festival was visited by tourists and locals of Tagaytay City, with strict observance of minimum health protocols.
This run of the KAIN NA! also brought back its signature food webinars, namely Global Prospectives, Food Tourism Exchange, and Food Tourism 101, as well as three virtual symposia, which tackled cultural influences in the food and gastronomy of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Among the speakers were award winning chefs and restaurateurs Jessica Gonzales of Bobi Filipino Food based in Paris, France, Chele Gonzalez of Gallery by Chele, 2019 James Beard Awardee for Best Chef (Mid-Atlantic) Tom Cunanan, Carlo Lamagna, chef-owner of modern Filipino restaurant – Magna, in Portland, Oregon and Christina Sunae, chef-owner of Cocina Sunae, Sunae Asian Cantina in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Alfie Escabarte and Carmelita Escabarte, Co-Founders of Thrilla in Manila.
KAIN NA! business-to-business meetings also linked up Food Tourism Consortium members and CALABARZON stakeholders.