Creativity, business, sustainability and inclusion were some of the main themes at the Fòrum Gastronòmic in Barcelona, which took place from the 18th to the 20th of November.
This year, the reference trade fair for the restaurant industry brought together 45 chefs with a combined total of over 30 Michelin stars and hosted over 100 activities, including conferences, show cooking and competitions.
This edition invited visitors to reflect on the current gastronomic times and the emerging trends of the restaurant industry. Creative cooking is growing exponentially, for which reason new business models will inevitably crop up and we must question the current practices. The ForumLab space has been created to debate how to move forward with this model and has included day events on how to boost more profitable, sustainable and digitalised restaurant businesses.
Amongst the trends on the rise, the importance of creativity and innovative proposals, the use of local products, the return of offal to kitchens and the trend of restaurants with their own vegetable garden were highlighted.
Overall, the focal point of this edition has was the recognition of feminine talent in haute cuisine in a series of talks under the motto “Talent has no gender” given by prestigious chefs María José San Román (Monastrell, Alicante), Lucía Freitas (A Tafona, Santiago de Compostela), Ada Parellada (Semproniana, Barcelona) and María José Martínez (El Lienzo, Valencia). These four highly talented chefs defended values such as diversity, sustainability and respect through their words and their dishes.
The fair also recognised the professional trajectory of people linked to the world of cooking with the Josep Mercader Awards. On this occasion, Pordamsa had an essential role in the creation of the award and formed part of the prize-giving ceremony. The awards this year went to Rosita and Nati Camps of Hostal Colomí in Santa Coloma de Queralt (Cooking award), Manel Tirvió, barman of Tirsa Cocktail Bar (Lounge award), ElBullifoundation with the wine volume of its encyclopaedia (Wine award), the Associació de Dones del Món Rural, Pageses i Ramaderes de Catalunya (Territory award), Montse Guillén and Antoni Miralda (Culture award) and finally, Joan Múrria of Queviures Múrria in Barcelona, with the extraordinary Small Business award.
And to top it all off, the fair had demonstrations from top level chefs like Paco Pérez, Jordi Cruz, Carme Ruscalleda, Eduard Xatruch and Mateu Casañas, brothers Sergio and Javier Torres, in addition to international chefs like Niko Romito (Italy), Kobe Desramaults (Belgium), Dominique Dutour (Ottawa), Stéphanie Audet (Montreal) and Rasmus Munk (Denmark).