Unilever Food Solutions Culinary Festival 2014

Set in a one-day only event earlier today (October 08, 2014), no less than 500 food professionals namely chefs, restaurateurs, and caterers from the Philippine food industry all over the country are gathered for the Culinary Festival 2014 as hosted by Unilever Food Solutions (UFS). Unilever Food Solutions is the food service arm of Unilever, maker of Knorr, Lady’s Choice, Best Foods, and Lipton.

RJ Ledesma giving Food Business Tips
RJ Ledesma giving Food Business Tips

As a result of this exciting culinary event, it pooled in together the experts of the country’s food industry to look into the latest trends and practices that will determine the country’s dining landscape. In a statement coming from Unilever Food Solutions Philippines Channel Marketing Manager Seanta Pasic-Reyes, she stated: “Our mission at Unilever Food Solutions is to equip members of the food service industry with product solutions coupled with the skills and knowledge needed to run an efficient commercial kitchen nowadays.” To bring this into fruition, UFS made use of Chefmanship Academy, a roving culinary training program designed to meet the diverse needs of food service professionals, as part of the event.

Aluminum Cookware from Masflex
Aluminum Cookware from Masflex

Originating in Germany since 2009, Chefmanship Academy has catered to no less than a million food service professionals all over the world. The program offers rich topics which combines real world insights and industry research which offer hands-on experiences.

Led by speakers RJ Ledesma, Chef Robby Goco, Joanna Manalastas, JJ Yulo, Chef George Lizares, and Pong Go, the talks were conducted in three tracks in the morning which focus on the Business of Food, Impactful food Trends, and Digital and Social Marketing. All this is in order to help address the various business and operational needs that food professionals encounter each day.

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Free Garden Salad
Free Garden Salad

The event discusses three major factors that will alter the trends that food professionals need to watch out for namely integrating sustainability in menus, micro-targeting customers, and pushing the power of digital media.

Creating meaningful relationships with customers, especially for those in the food service industry, is best represented by customization and personalization of communications and are the basis in determining the changing behaviors and preferences of customers. In similar case to Mercato Centrale, RJ Ledesma has proven critical an in-depth knowledge of customers’ behavior and preferences in such a way you will know how to market your brand.

Free Cupcakes from Chefmanship Academy
Free Cupcakes from Chefmanship Academy

Considering lifestyle changes and health restrictions affecting the trends and changes in Filipinos’ eating habits, today’s chefs and restaurant owners are expected to come full circle in delivering original and changing menus to their diners, thus the need to incorporate sustainability in menus. Chef Robby Goco of Green Pastures and Cyma is one such pioneer of this trend.

Make your own Dip by KitchenAid
Make your own Dip by KitchenAid

Given the rising competition among food service professionals and the highly digital behavior of Filipino diners of today, shedding some light on the topic is Joanna Manalastas of Spot.ph discussing on how the digital landscape is shaping the competition in food.

Before ending the event, late in the afternoon, guests are treated with sessions on banqueting or large quantity food production led by the UFS very own chefs. In addition to, the culinary festival was highlighted for its fun booth activities and several restaurants on wheels for participants to try delicious cuisines.

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