Epicureanism at heart of Macao’s offering


International Gastronomy Forum in Macao kicks off another year of “foodie tourism” activities

In 2019, the Macao Government Tourism Office will be working on deepening Macao’s development as a “Creative City of Gastronomy”, building on the “Macao Tourism Industry Development Master Plan”. The Office will also be joining forces with other entities to hold various celebrations and events for the 20th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region in 2019.

The MGTO will be working on the development of the local catering industry through “inheritance, innovation and exchange”; strengthening inheritance and innovation of local Macanese Cuisine and work on building the Macanese cuisine database; continuing to participate in activities hosted by other Creative Cities of Gastronomy around the world, and carrying out cross- eld cooperation and exchange with other Creative Cities in Asia. Macao will be hosting and supporting international gastronomic events, organising different types of activities in major source markets, launching gourmet food tour products, and making greater efforts in promoting the Creative City of Gastronomy. After the “2018 Macao Year of Gastronomy”, January 2019 again saw a full range of initiatives locally and internationally to celebrate the designation and forge Macao as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

To kick-off the year, Macao held, for the first time, a cooking show open to the public with chefs from UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy from around the world. Organised by Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), with the coordination of Macau Culinary Association, the outdoor culinary demonstration was a highlight of the “International Gastronomy Forum, Macao 2019”. As part of the same celebrations, a UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy Cooking Show featured young chefs from 20 Creative Cities of Gastronomy, who took to the stage to prepare their culinary creations, sharing their culture and inspiration with residents and visitors. Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) aims to strengthen cooperation with and among cities that have recognized creativity as a strategic factor of sustainable development as regards economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects. By joining the Network, cities acknowledge their commitment to sharing best practices, developing partnerships that promote creativity and the cultural industries, strengthening participation in cultural life and integrating culture in urban development plans. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, and Music. Speaking of UNESCO, Macao’s historic downtown is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, bearing testimony to the first and longest-lasting encounter between the West and China. From the 16th to the 20th centuries, it was the focal point for traders and missionaries, and the different elds of learning. The impact of this encounter can be traced in the fusion of different cultures that characterise the historic core zone of Macao.

Alongside Chengdu and Shunde, Macao is one of only three cities in China to be conferred the prestigious title of Creative City of Gastronomy. The title is primarily awarded in recognition of a city’s gastronomic heritage. With a culinary legacy that dates back over 400 years, Macao is generally regarded as being home to the world’s rst “fusion” cuisine.

As a city which for 400 years was under Portuguese administration, it was in Macao, well before Hong Kong or Singapore, that East met West in the kitchen.

And since Macao returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1999, this kind of cuisine has been a cornerstone of local culture.

Speaking at the opening of this year’s forum, Senior Programme Specialist of Cultural Policies and Development of Culture Sector for UNESCO, Denise Bax, remarked: “Allow me to thank the city of Macau – a very dynamic and forward-looking UNESCO Creative City – for hosting this important event, which brings together all UNESCO creative cities of gastronomy around the world. Today’s gathering testifies to the value of the UNESCO International Creative Cities Network and, at the same time, it highlights the growing importance of cities as drivers of creativity and innovation. The gastronomy cooking show of the last two days has not only stimulated our taste buds but also inspired our imagination and creativity.” She added that “Gastronomy is deeply rooted in cultural heritage and cultural identity of peoples and communities. Today’s Forum provides a powerful demonstration of the central role of culture for sustainable development”.

  • Executive chef of Michelin Three Star Restaurant – The 8 – Joseph Tse – staging special performances in Macao
  • Celebrated chef Jacky Lam conducts the rst special Macao culinary performance

Hall 26a / Stand 105