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Sustainable Gastronomy Will Soon Be The New Way To Cook And Eat

“Sustainability” is a word that gets bandied around a lot these days. In relation to food, we usually connect it to terms like organic, free trade, all natural, GMO-free, and so on. But do we understand the term fully, especially with regards to our food supply? That’s what the Philippine Sustainable Gastronomy (PSG) aims to address when it convenes on August 2 and 3, 2018 at the SMX Convention Center during the 18th World Food Expo (WOFEX).

During the recent press launch, WOFEX and PSG organizers shared their aim to make this first Philippine Sustainable Gastronomy an influential force towards achieving sustainable development goals by promoting agricultural development, food security, nutrition, sustainable food production, and the conservation of biodiversity. Sounds lofty, right?


Chef Waya Araos-Wijangco (Photo by Cecilia Abitang)


While these goals are certainly pressing, it was the lovely lunch spread prepared by Chef Waya Araos-Wijangco at her Quezon City restaurant, Gourmet Gypsy Art Café, that drove home the point of how to prepare and consume food in a mindful and earth-friendly manner.  

Chef Waya highlighted ingredients and products she picked up from a recent trip to Pangasinan. She prepared a Breakfast Paella cooked with adlai, and brimming with Alaminos longanisa, shiitake mushrooms, and fried eggs.


Breakfast Paella


She created a different kind of lumpiang ubod by adding nori and frying the rolls.


Ubod Nori Lumpia


She topped her fresh pako salad with dried espada from Pangasinan.


Fresh Pako Salad


Dessert was Coco Panucha Fondue with fresh fruits for dipping, plus a sensational Tupig Crème Brûlée that transformed this typical Pangasinan kakanin into a creamy custard.


Coco Panucha Fondue and Tupig Crème Brûlée


As exemplified by Chef Waya’s dishes, this focus on local and heritage produce is an important part of Philippine Sustainable Gastronomy, with one of the panels entitled Sailing on the Ark of Taste: Expedition to Lola’s Kitchen and Heritage Cuisine discussing how heritage cuisine can help with the preservation of biodiversity.

During the press launch, Chef Waya talked about her frugal Ilocano ways in setting up Gourmet Gypsy Art Café. She used recycled furniture and ukay-ukay finds to furnish the space. Her staff composts and segregates trash, proving that sustainability practices have to be pragmatic, rather than purely idealistic, in order to succeed.

Chef Waya will be sharing these practices as one of the panelists during the Waste Not, Want Not: Reducing the Food Waste Footprint panel that will discuss topics like nose-to-tail cooking, preserving and canning food, composting, and tips to leftover cuisine.

During the Philippine Sustainable Gastronomy, other interesting panels worth attending are Voting with your Fork: Food Activism on food justice, sustainable farming, and biodiversity; Slow Travel: A Journey of the Senses on travel based on gastronomic traditions and culture of a place; The Conscious Carnivore on the concept of mindful and ethical animal eating; and finally, a Food for Change Action Plan as a culmination to the two-day event, with Asia’s Best Female Chef Margarita Forés participating as a panelist.