With 7,641 islands, 534 islands more than the previously recorded 7,107, the Philippines does not only boast a wide array of unique destinations but also a diverse and colorful culinary scene.
This is what inspired PACE or Professional Academy for Culinary Education to set up PACE Center for Food Tourism (PCFT) – to provide a platform for the promotion of Filipino cuisine.
“PACE started with a three-fold mission – to develop Filipino culinary talent, to open opportunities for would-be entrepreneurs and to uplift the status of Filipino cuisine in the global stage,” said PACE in a statement.
“The timing could not be more impeccable. With Filipino cuisine now making waves in the global culinary scene and our national government’s thrust of promoting culinary tourism, now is the best time for PCFT to push the envelope for food tourism,” said Mark Anthony Catarroja, PACE co-founder and school administrator.
A fun way of learning
Filipinos have a great passion for food. In fact, we are known to express our unique Filipino hospitality through food.
“To us, food and eating are always a fun engagement. But this time, we raise the notch higher by giving everyone the experience to prepare the food themselves,” said Catarroja.
PCFT aims to inspire local and foreign tourists, food travelers, culinary enthusiasts and newbies to discover and learn more about our cuisine, culture and heritage while engaging in cooking courses.
Students will experience a fun way of learning which starts with a visit to Farmer’s Market in Cubao, Quezon City, a few steps away from the PCFT facility. While in the market, the chef instructor explains how to choose the best and freshest ingredients before heading to the kitchen for the hands-on cooking class.
Hapag: Tables of the Philippines is the flagship course of PCFT. Hapag in Filipino language literally means “dining table.” It features courses ranging from staple Filipino dishes to the unique regional dishes throughout the country.
“Through Hapag, we share good food and good times. That is what we want our guests to have. Come to our place with an open mind and leave with a full stomach and a full heart,” he added.
“If no one will do this, then we will forever be just watching our neighboring countries that have a very dynamic food tourism,” said Catarroja. “It’s really bringing on the table not just the food but also the history of our dishes. We also want to talk about the farmers, the hardworking people who are part of the entire process.”
The PCFT facility is also open to food and beverage experts who want to showcase their masterpieces. “This will be bigger than it is right now. We are inviting everyone who wants to contribute to this initiative. Basically, this will be a playground for people who want to learn about Filipino food.”
Catarroja is optimistic that this pioneering initiative will help raise awareness, appreciation and education about Filipino cuisine in the country and across the world.
PACE Center for Food Tourism is located in Araneta Center, Quezon City. For more information, log on to www.pacemanila.com/pace-cft or call (02) 577-8055.