Macao will hold for the first time this weekend (January 19 and 20) a cooking show open to the public with chefs from UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy from around the world. Organized by Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), with the coordination of Macau Culinary Association, the outdoor culinary demonstration is a highlight of the “International Gastronomy Forum, Macao 2019”, and joins the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region (Macao SAR).
A traditional blessing ceremony was conducted today (January 14) at Anim’Arte NAM VAN ahead of the cooking show. MGTO Director and Macao SAR focal point to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, attended the occasion. Also present at the blessing ceremony were MGTO Deputy Director Ricky Hoi together with the President and the Chairman of Macau Cuisine Association, Sunny Ip and Jacky Lam, respectively, among other guests.
During the weekend, Anim’Arte NAM VAN will welcome over 30 chefs from 20 Creative Cities of Gastronomy, including Macao, in addition to two more candidate cities from China. The chefs will take turns to go on stage to prepare starters, main courses and desserts live, sharing along with the public their passion about cooking, and on how they integrate their culture and innovations into their recipes. Creative Cities of Gastronomy will bring in some of their most talented young chefs, in reply to MGTO’s request of inviting professionals with ages ranging between 18 and 40, in order to display the new generations of culinary arts from different geographies and inspire those in Macao.
As the host city, Macao will conduct five special cooking performances during the two days. The public will have the chance to see three local celebrity chefs prepare their culinary creations and share their experience on site: Jacky Lam (honored by the Macao SAR with the Medal of Merit for Tourism in 2017), Joseph Tse (executive chef of three Michelin star restaurant, The 8) and Tam Kwok Fung (executive chef of Wing Lei Palace restaurant). Culinary arts students and one teacher from Institute for Tourism Studies and Macau University of Science and Technology will also conduct special performances to present their modern recipes of traditional Macanese dishes.
The chefs from the different cities will take the stage one after the other, two cities each time, to conduct cooking shows staring from 1pm until 8pm on Saturday, and from 11am until 4pm on Sunday. The performances will be facilitated by masters of ceremony that will exchange with the chefs while they prepare their dishes, and provide Cantonese translation. Aside from Macao, the stage at Anim’Arte NAM VAN will welcome performances from chefs coming from the following Creative Cities of Gastronomy: Bergen (Norway), Buenaventura and Popayán (Colombia), Burgos and Dénia (Spain), Chengdu and Shunde (China), Ensenada (Mexico), Gaziantep and Hatay (Turkey), Jeonju (Korea), Östersund (Sweden), Panama City (Panama), Paraty (Brazil), Parma (Italy), Phuket (Thailand), San Antonio and Tucson (USA), and Tsuruoka (Japan). Two China candidate cities (Huai’an and Yangzhou) will join the cooking show as well.
On site, there will be also 10 gastronomy booths, four booths with drinks and three eateries located at Anim’Arte NAM VAN, presenting Macao dishes, drinks and more, brought by local food and beverage industry operators. In addition, there will be information available about UNESCO Creative Cities Network and the participating chefs, along with games and more entertainment. The tableware used by the organization to distribute the foods is recycled and visitors to the cooking show are encouraged to bring their own.
All food will be free of charge, but while the food prepared by the chefs from Creative Cities of Gastronomy will be distributed in limited portions, on first come first serve basis, for the local gastronomy booths, residents and visitors will have to accomplish a few challenges in order to get gastronomy coupons to be exchanged for foods and drinks (there will be a limit for the amount of food and drinks that can be distributed each hour). The activities to exchange for gastronomy coupons are: following MGTO’s WeChat account; completing challenges related to Macao foods of the popular video game Cooking Mama available on site; taking photos on site with Macao tourism mascot Mak Mak, at Cooking Mama game photo zone, with the performing chefs, of the overall cooking show, or at the installations of Macao Light Festival at the Nam Van Lake Nautical Centre, and post on social media under #CityofGastronomy; subscribe (for visitors only) online version of MGTO’s publication What’s On Macao. There will be orientations and staff on site to help the public with the related details.
The cooking show is a main activity open to the participation of the public of “International Gastronomy Forum, Macao 2019”. This year on its third edition, the forum is an important platform for Macao to interact with other member cities of the Network in its development as a Creative City of Gastronomy. Themed “Possibilities of Gastronomy and Creativity”, the full range activities of the forum will take place from January 19 to 21, with the forum presentations and discussions to take place on January 21. In addition to UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy plus China Creative Cities internal meetings, delegates will also have the opportunity to tour the city, including local markets, visit some of the new developments and events in Macao for an in-depth experience of the city.