2018 Restaurant Trends, Food Discoveries and Insights from @MadridFusion

Madrid Fusion Day 1-24.jpg


Madrid Fusion is the most influential culinary congress in the food world, not to mention a haven for the gastronomic Spanish cuisine.

Now on its 16th year with the theme “Fourth Generation: Those Who Own the Future“, the Congress is meant to showcase how you can future-proof your restaurant business and satisfy the ever-evolving demands of the food industry.

I’ve attended Madrid Fusion for the last 4 years, and this year is a turning point–a passing of the baton to the next culinary generation.

Here are the key restaurant trends, food discoveries, and personal insights from Madrid Fusion 2018


Madrid Fusion 2018 by LG-3.jpg

Madrid Fusion is held every third week of January in the City of Madrid. The goal is to learn from last year’s victories and set the direction for the new year.

Madrid Fusion Day 1-29.jpg

The Philippines is always prominently showcased on the main ground floor to promote Madrid Fusion in Asia.

Madrid Fusion Day 1-26.jpg

The Congress also features installation art to promote sustainability for our oceans and to eliminate the use of plastics.

Madrid Fusion Day 1-12.jpg

This is where chefs, restaurateurs, foodies, and culinary ambassadors meet to network and discuss the future of gastronomy.

Madrid Fusion 2018 by LG-6.jpg


Reale Seguros Madrid Fusión 2018 featured 200 exhibitors, 766 accredited national and international journalists, 1,896 delegates, and 12,924 accredited attendees over the three days.

Madrid Fusion Day 1-20.jpg

It predominantly features the best of Spanish Chefs but also include chefs from Japan, Philippines, Lisbon, Germany, and Tel Aviv.

For more info, visit the official website: http://madridfusion.net/



Madrid Fusion Day 1-14.jpg

Joâo Rodrigues (Feitoria, Portugal), Alexandre Silva (Loco, Portugal) & Henrique Sá Pessoa (Alma, Portugal)

Lisbon, Portugal is the next hottest culinary destination with the rise of haute cuisine by the neighboring Portuguese Chefs.

Madrid Fusion Day 1-16.jpg

If Spain is known for their pork, Portugal is known for their seafood, and foodies are raving about its seafood creations.

Madrid Fusion Day 1-53.jpg

Iñigo Lavado (Singular, Spain)

Chef Iñigo, one of the featured chefs in Manila Fusion, showcases cooking with a focus on emotions on top of techniques and ingredients.

Madrid Fusion Day 2-9.jpg

Diego Coquilat (Spain)

This is one of the most insightful talks during the Congress, and here are the top revelations:

1). Restaurants do not have a wooden door but a digital door where the customer experience starts from booking a reservation, moves to the actual dining experience, and ends past the social chatter after.

2). Diners eat with a fork, spoon, and a mobile phone.

3). In the new era, the best tip is not cash, but digital tip based on reviews, mentions, and sharing online.

4). Delivery is an extension of the restaurant experience, with drivers as mobile waiters.

5). Focus on your restaurant’s Gastronomic DNA online based on what people talk about, review, and rave about your restaurant.


Madrid Fusion Day 1-23.jpg

Oriol Castro, Eduard Xatruch, & Mateu Casañas (Disfrutar, Spain)

One of the most engaging and anticipated talks was from Disfrutar, currently making waves in Barcelona thanks to former El Bulli chefs.

Madrid Fusion Day 1-43.jpg

They are able to ferment, infuse, and blacken vegetables with a Korean cookery called OC´OO and the us of ceramic inside the equipment.

Black Cauliflower-1

We visited Disfrutar on our last night in Spain and the black broccoli was amazing. Watch out for our Disfrutar feature.

Madrid Fusion Day 2-4.jpg

Jordy Navarra (Toyo Eatery, Philippines)

Chef Jordy Navarra represented the Philippines very well, impressing both the Spanish audience and the International Media delegation.

Madrid Fusion 2018 by LG-19.jpg

He showcased Filipino ingredients and fermentation techniques like buro in an interesting, sincere presentation.

You can watch the entire video of Chef Jordy’s Presentation at Madrid Fusion 2018 below:

Click the play icon ▶️ and watch Chef Jordy’s Presentation video ⬆️(https://youtu.be/EkEC-hwoJA8).

Thank you, Chef Jordy, for making us proud of our Filipino Heritage!

Madrid Fusion Day 2-30.jpg

Montserrat Fontané (Can Roca, Spain) Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca, Spain)

The highlight of Madrid Fusion 2018 for me was when Joan Roca and their staff gave a tribute to his mother’s cooking at Can Roca, Spain.

Madrid Fusion Day 2-33.jpg

She prepares the food for the culinary staff at El Celler de Can Roca (Top 3 restaurants in World’s 50 Best).

The best food is simple, prepared with heart, and eaten at home. Never forget to pay tribute to the source and origin.



Madrid Fusion Day 1-33.jpg

Madrid Fusion Exhibit features the best produce and ingredients from Spain and neighboring countries in Europe.

Here are the best food that we discovered as we tasted our way through Madrid Fusion…

Madrid Fusion Day 1-45.jpg

Oysters Amélie

One of the best oysters we’ve tasted–plump, juicy, and fresh!

For more info, visit http://www.huitresamelie.com/en/oysters-amelie/

Madrid Fusion 2018 by LG-10.jpg

Solan de Cabras

These twins sell one of the best-tasting pure natural water from the uplands of Cuenca.

For more info, visit https://solandecabras.es/

Madrid Fusion Day 2-21.jpg

The VIP Lunch at Madrid Fusion is one of the most anticipated events showcasing the best products from sponsors and around Spain.


La Brujula Conservas Artesanas

One of the best-canned seafood products we’ve tasted. Perfect for pasalubong!

For more info, visit http://www.conservaslabrujula.com/

Madrid Fusion Day 1-30.jpg

We enjoyed simple tapas creations from the Spanish chefs. You can easily do it from home with a little inspiration.

Madrid Fusion Day 2-24.jpg

Bruno Paillard Champagne

Champagne only for the best chefs, foodies, and VIP guest at Madrid Fusion!

For more info, visit http://www.champagnebrunopaillard.com/

Madrid Fusion Day 1-34.jpg

Marantona Cured Manchego Cheese

Manchego cheese tastes so much different when you enjoy it in Spain and from the best Manchego producers.

For more info, visit http://www.quesoslacasota.com/

Madrid Fusion Day 1-37.jpg

Cinco Jotas

Nothing beats eating the Jamon Iberico de Bellota (Acorn Fed 100% Iberico ham) from the best producer in Jabugo (Huelva), Spain.

For more info, visit https://www.cincojotas.com/

Madrid Fusion Day 1-41.jpg

Chicharricos is Spain’s version of Chicharon, but this one is from Iberico Pork–yum!

Madrid Fusion Day 1-40.jpg

Sea Abalone is one of the featured premium seafood. I like the cooked version better than the raw one, which is tougher.

Madrid Fusion Day 1-39.jpg

Bastion De La Luna Tinto de Mar Rias Baixas

One of the best wines we’ve tasted during the VIP lunch. Paired well with the the abalone and other seafood.

Madrid Fusion Day 2-20.jpg

Saborea España. Tasting Spain Tapas Route showcases different producers and regions during the 2nd day of Madrid Fusion.

There are 18 Tasting Spain destinations: A Coruña, Valladolid, Segovia, Salamanca, Madrid, Trujillo, Badajoz, Ciudad Real, Sevilla, Denia, Valencia, Vinaros, Cambrils, Zaragoza, Logroño, Tenerife, Lanzaorte, and Gran Canaria.

For more info, visit http://www.tastingspain.es/

Madrid Fusion Day 2-17.jpg

Gran Canaria Tapa

This is one of our favorites–tacos made with roasted cornmeal cube with Canary Island cheese and tomato.

Madrid Fusion Day 2-12.jpg

Paradores Tapa

Cordoba oxtail and Cuenca Ajo Mortero roll.

Madrid Fusion Day 2-26.jpg

I’ve fallen  in love with the Organic Wines from Spain from Canforrales.

For more info, visit http://www.bodegascamposreales.com/tienda/canforrales/

Madrid Fusion Day 1-47.jpg

For the first time ever, Madrid Fusion showcased The Drinks Show, featuring booths from leading drink makers with live DJ music.



Madrid Fusion Day 2-6.jpg


The 4th Edition of Madrid Fusion Manila is happening on April 19-21, 2018 with the theme: “Innovating Traditions”.

For more info, visit http://www.madridfusionmanila.com/

Madrid Fusion Day 2-35.jpg

The Manila Fusion reception was held at the posh Tatel restaurant owned by tennis ace Rafael Nadal, music sensation Enrique Iglesias, and recently Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid.

Madrid Fusion Day 2-37.jpg

The Jamon Iberico was masterfully sliced by Maestro Cortador Filipino duo of Michael & Mark Lopez. They are the first ever Filipino Master Carvers of Iberico Ham in history and have been based in Spain since 2000.

For more info, visit https://www.facebook.com/MCFmaestrocortadorfilipino/ or email them info@maestrocortadorfilipino.com

Madrid Fusion Day 2-41.jpg

Chef JP Anglo of Sarsa and Chef Jordy Navarra of Toyo Eatery represented the Philippine Chefs during the reception.

Madrid Fusion Day 2-44.jpg

Cocktail tapas food was served and it was perfect for conversations with VIP guests and esteemed international media.

Madrid Fusion Day 2-46.jpg

Chef JP presented one dish representing the food and ingredients from the Philippines with the inspiration of the Spanish markets.

Madrid Fusion Day 2-53.jpg

He was at home in the Tatel kitchen switching from being a celebrity chef to briefly working hands on in the impressive Spanish kitchen.

Madrid Fusion Day 2-40.jpg

Don’t miss Madrid Fusion in Asia. See you there!

For more updates, visit http://www.madridfusionmanila.com/

Live an Awesome Life,


Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: My trip was courtesy of the Department of Tourism as part of the international media delegation promoting Madrid Fusion in Asia. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. 

P.S. I heard that Madrid Fusion Manila on April 19-21 is postponed at a later date. Stay tuned for updates.

MadridFusionManila 2018 Chefs

Spanish Chefs
Susi Diaz of La Finca in Alicante, Spain (1 Michelin Star, 2 Repsol Suns)
Javier Estevez of La Tasqueria in Madrid, Spain
Roberto Ruiz of Punto MX in Madrid, Spain (1 Michelin Star, 2 Repsol Suns)
Diego Gallegos of Sollo in Málaga, Spain (1 Michelin Star, 1 Repsol Sun)
Inigo Lavado of Singular in Irun, Spain
Pepe Solla of Casa Solla in Pontevedra, Spain (1 Michelin Star, 3 Repsol Suns)
Gorka Txpartegi of Alameda in San Sebastian, Spain (1 Michelin Star, 2 Repsol Suns)

European Chefs
Akrame Benallal of Akrame in Paris, France (2 Michelin Stars- Paris; 1 Michelin Star- Hong Kong)
Floriano Pellegrino and Isabella Poti of Bros’ in Leece, Italy

American Chefs
Curtis Duffy [formerly] of Grace in Chicago, Illinois, USA (3 Michelin Stars; Five Diamond Restaurant from AAA; Best Chef: Great Lakes at the 2016 James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards)
Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint in Washington DC, USA (Nominee, 2017 James Beard Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic)
Paul Qui of Kuneho in Austin, Texas (Winner, Top Chef Season 9; Winner, 2012 James Beard Best Chef: Southwest)

South American Chef
Maria Fernanda di Giacobbe of Kakao Bombones Lab in Caracas, Venezuela (Ambassador of the Venezuelan cacao and chocolate)

Asian Chefs
Matt Abergel of Ronin in Hong Kong (No. 45, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017)
LG Han of Labyrinth in Singapore (1 Michelin Star)
Mingoo Kang of Mingles in Seoul, Korea (1 Michelin Star; No. 15, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017)
Aitor Jeronimo Orive of Iggy’s in Singapore (1 Michelin Star)
Hajime Yoneda of Hajime in Osaka, Japan (2 Michelin Stars, No. 34, Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017)

Manila Featured Chefs
JP Anglo of Sarsa in Manila, Philippines
Patrick Go [formerly] of Black Sheep in Manila, Philippines
Nicco Santos of Hey Handsome and Your Local in Manila, Philippines

(Source: Madrid Fusion Manila | http://www.madridfusionmanila.com/ and Cheryl Tiu | The Full List Of Chef-Presenters For Madrid Fusion Manila 2018 )

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *