“International Gastronomy Forum, Macao” engages most participating Cities of Gastronomy from worldwide over past editions for concerted development between “tourism + gastronomy”

date: 2024-06-18 11:17 source:Macao Government Tourism Office

“International Gastronomy Forum, Macao” (referred to as the “Forum”) convened today (17 June), bringing together delegates from 29 Creative Cities of Gastronomy around the world and seven Chinese member cities of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in other fields, as well as catering industry leaders and participants. The Forum engaged the highest number of participating Cities of Gastronomy over the past editions. The Sustainable Gastronomy Day is observed on 18 June annually around the world. Under the theme of “Holistic Gastronomy: Eat well, live well” at the Forum, participants shared their insights and valuable experiences through panel sessions and an exchange meeting, sparking innovative ideas and thinking from different angles, offering significant enlightenment for the sustainable development of the tourism and catering industries as well as Macao’s concerted development between “tourism + gastronomy”.

MGTO Director and Macao SAR (China) Focal Point to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Cluster Coordinator of the Cities of Gastronomy and Focal Point of San Antonio of USA, Colleen Swain, Chief Operating Officer of South China Morning Post, Kevin Huang, and two keynote speakers officiated the opening ceremony of the Forum.

Gastronomy is worth profound discussions

Director Senna Fernandes expressed in her welcome speech that gastronomy is intertwined with a rich breadth of dimensions, from history and culture, traditions and customs, preservation and innovation, wellness and lifestyle to sustainability. It is more than a wonderful experience of taste and dining to savor, but an approach and attitude towards life as well. Indeed, gastronomy is also one of the essential drivers for tourism and economic development. The topic and field is of great value to explore and discuss. After four years, the “International Gastronomy Forum, Macao” convenes once again in 2024 as a major highlight of the “International Cities of Gastronomy Fest, Macao”, when the city celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Establishment of the Macao SAR, making the Forum’s return especially meaningful. It is the first International Gastronomy Forum held after the pandemic, bringing together the most Creative Cities of Gastronomy in Macao over the years.

Secretary-General of Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, Qin Changwei, stated In his speech by video that the Macao SAR Government has actively forged ahead to foster Macao’s development as a Creative City of Gastronomy, achieving remarkable results. He looks forward to the Creative Cities of Gastronomy fully showcasing their unique culinary charm in the event, exchanging and sharing their valuable experience on creative industry development, joining hands to promote sustainable and high-quality urban development through culture and creativity.

Forum’s grand opening engages over 250 participants

Over 250 participants attended the opening ceremony including delegates from 29 Creative Cities of Gastronomy around the world and seven Chinese member cities of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in five other fields, various catering industry leaders and representatives of the six integrated resort enterprises. The Chinese member cities of UCCN include Shanghai City of Design; Jingdezhen, Suzhou, and Weifang as the Cities of Crafts and Folk Art; Changsha City of Media Arts, Qingdao City of Film and Nanjing City of Literature.

Prominent guests express views in two panel sessions

Two panel sessions were held in the morning. Panel Discussion 1: "Exploring Holistic Gastronomy: A Journey into Macao's Culinary and Wellness Landscape" featured Chef and Founder of the restaurant Leela, Manav Tuli, as the keynote speaker. Moderated by veteran journalist from South China Morning Post, Lee Williamson, the session delved into the core principles and philosophies of holistic gastronomy, the intersection of wellness and culinary arts as well as the development trends and visions of the future. This panel not only highlighted the transformative power of holistic gastronomy but also forecasted its promising future in shaping healthier, more sustainable communities. The six panelists include Plant-Based Chef Andreea Apostol; Vice President of Signature Restaurants Operations at SJM Resorts, Jeremy Evrard; Director of SommAsia, Adolphus Foo; Assistant Manager of Mono, Abbi Grace; Executive Chef of Andaz, Macau, André Lai and Culinary Operations Director of Studio City, Kenneth Law.

Panel Discussion 2: “Holistic Gastronomy as a Catalyst: A Resilient Future for Businesses and Tourism” featured Co-founder of Serensia Woods, Amber Li, as the keynote speaker, and was moderated by veteran journalist Douglas Parkes from South China Morning Post. The key topics included the economic and social impact of gastronomy, culinary tourism and branding, strategic collaborations and driving sustainable change. The panel explored how to integrate health, culture, and environmental stewardship into culinary practices, and illuminated how holistic gastronomy not only enriches the culinary landscape but also acts as a powerful driver for sustainable business practices and robust tourism economy, paving the way for a more resilient future. The six panelists are Executive Director of Health &Wellness of Sands China, Mariana de Oliveira Dias; Assistant Vice President of Sustainability &Business Synergy of MGM, Ruby O; Director – Sustainability at Wynn Palace and Wynn Macau, Maria Fatima Pun; Co-founder of Rooftop Republic, Andrew Tsui; Chef and Owner of Little Bao, May Chow and Chef and Founder of Leela, Manav Tuli.

UCCN member cities from different fields join Exchange Meeting

The Exchange Meeting for UCCN Creative Cities Network Members was held in the afternoon (17 June), attended by representatives from various Cities of Gastronomy and Chinese member cities of UCCN in other fields.

Delegates from 14 UCCN member cities namely Chaozhou, Iloilo City, Huai’an, Kermanshah, Launceston, Bohicon, Nanjing, Mérida, Bergamo, Portoviejo, Parma, Florianópolis, Jingdezhen and Arequipa shared their successful experiences in promoting the sustainable development of Creative Cities. Leveraging this interactive exchange platform, they explored the concerted development between gastronomy and other fields, further promoting gastronomic preservation and international exchange among various Cities of Gastronomy.

First post-pandemic International Gastronomy Forum serves as a platform

Since the designation of Macao as a Creative City of Gastronomy, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a succession of initiatives for the development of Creative Cities of Gastronomy have been rolled out and garnered positive feedback. Among them, MGTO held the “International Gastronomy Forum, Macao” in 2016, 2018 and 2019 as a valuable platform for international exchange among Macao and other Creative Cities of Gastronomy, contributing to Macao’s development as a Creative City of Gastronomy. As one of the major highlights of the first-time event “International Cities of Gastronomy Fest, Macao” this year, the Forum took place for the first time after the pandemic.

Largest gastronomic culture event reflects Macao’s capabilities and reinforces golden calling card

Organized by MGTO as a first-time event, the “International Cities of Gastronomy Fest, Macao” is held at Macau Fisherman’s Wharf from 14 to 23 June for ten days. The event once again reflects Macao’s all-rounded capabilities to organize mega events and radiates the city’s strengths as an international exchange platform. It reinforces Macao’s status as a world centre of tourism and leisure and polishes Macao’s golden calling card as an international metropolis.

Featuring three major highlights namely the “International Gastronomy Promenade”, “City of Gastronomy Showcase” and “International Gastronomy Forum, Macao”, the “International Cities of Gastronomy Fest, Macao” not just manifests Macao’s unique glamour as an international City of Gastronomy in this year of dual celebrations, but also provides an interactive and exchange platform for residents and visitors, while deepening integration of gastronomy with wellness and tourism, among other fields. The event promotes Macao’s tourism and catering industry development, in line with the “1 + 4” development strategy for adequate economic diversification, manifesting Macao’s dynamic and strengths as a platform and UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

For the latest information and fascinating program, please visit the website: https://www.macaotourism.gov.mo/en/article/events/gastronomy-fest-2024.

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