The strength of the relationship between the Philippines and Canada took the form of sumptuous food as students from five Philippine state universities assisted in preparing a four-course meal inspired by Canada's indigenous heritage in a dinner reception to mark Canada's milestones in the Philippines.
The Canadian Embassy presented an epicurean menu of items curated by Conrad Manila's Executive Chef Warren Brown in collaboration with Executive Chef James McFarland of the University of Saskatchewan.
Assisting Executive Chef Brown in preparing the meal were students from Benguet State University, Central Luzon State University, Central Mindanao University, Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University, and its lead university, Mariano Marcos State University, who have collaborated with the University of Saskatchewan on a project supported by the Commission on Higher Education.
The event was also an opportunity to highlight Canadian cuisine and top-quality Canadian ingredients, with the support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AFC), Canada Beef, Canada Pork, and Canadian food suppliers.
Guests were welcomed by a special cocktail drink prepared by the Canadian Ambassador's Executive Chef Joseph Gomez with a mix of Canadian and Philippine ingredients including Canadian Gin, apple juice, calamansi juice, Baguio strawberry compote and lemon soda.
The menu featured Canadian ingredients such as beef, British Columbia salmon from Ocean Organic and Blundell Seafoods, Silver Valley Farm's snowcrest blueberries, CanNatur amber maple syrup, Maple Leaf Foods pork, Canadian Pride canola oil, and Floating Leaf wild rice, paired with
- Appetizer - Maple cured Canadian steelhead salmon with picked blueberries, micro greens, mustard citrus vinaigrette and purple potato crisps;
- Second course - Wild mushroom and Canadian pulled pork mushroom bun with forest crumb and cress;
- Main entrée - Leek-ash rubbed Canadian Ribeye with Canadian blueberry jus, "Three Sisters" smoked corn purée, beans and squash, picked red onion pedals and puffed Canadian wild rice;
- Dessert - Bannock bread pudding with maple semi freddo and fresh Canadian berries.
Dubbed as “Flavors of Canada,” the dinner reception hosted by the Embassy of Canada in the Philippines at Conrad Manila was attended by more than three hundred and fifty guests from the government, diplomatic corps, business sector, and civil society
It served to mark 73 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and the Philippines and 50 years of Canada having a full-service Embassy in Manila.
"The Canada-Philippines relationship is strong and getting stronger," Canada's Ambassador to the
Philippines Peter MacArthur said.
This year, Canada is celebrating its 155th anniversary as a confederation, 50 years of Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, the small-grants facility of the Embassy; 45 years of Canada-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership; and 36 years of Canada's bilateral development cooperation with the Philippines.
Canadian agri-food and seafood exports to the Philippines in the past two years have increased by an average of 49%, making the Philippines as Canada's second largest export market in the ASEAN.
Canada is the fifth largest exporter of agri-food products in the world.
"The Philippines is, for Canada, an important agri-food and seafood export market. Canada takes great pride in being a committed trading partner to the Philippines, even at the height of the pandemic, and in contributing to global food security, through trade and collaboration," said Kathleen Donohue, visiting Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AFC) Assistant Deputy Minister and Vice President of its International Affairs Branch.