The Embassy of Canada in the Philippines hosted a dinner reception at Conrad Manila Hotel to celebrate Canada’s milestones in the Philippines, attended by more than three hundred and fifty guests from the government, diplomatic corps, business sector, and civil society. The special event marked 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. “Aside from celebrating Canada’s 155th anniversary as a confederation, this year we are also celebrating 50 years of Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, the small-grants facility of the Embassy; 45 years of Canada-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership; and 36years of Canada’s bilateral development cooperation with the Philippines,” Ambassador MacArthur explained.

Maple cured Canadian Steelhead Salmon with Pickled Blueberries, Micro Greens, Mustard Citrus Vinaigrette and Purple Potato Crisps

The celebration also welcomed guests from Les Toques Blanches (LTB) Chefs Philippines, World Association of Chefs Societies, representatives of the food service industry, food processing companies, retailers, and Canadian suppliers. The dinner was also an opportunity to highlight Canadian cuisine and top-quality Canadian ingredients. With the support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Canada Beef, Canada
Pork, and Canadian food suppliers, the Embassy presented an epicurean menu of delectable items curated by Conrad Manila’s Executive Chef Warren Brown in collaboration with Executive Chef James McFarland of the University of Saskatchewan.
Students from five Philippine state universities (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, assisted Executive Chef Brown in preparing the sumptuous four-course meal inspired by Canada’s indigenous culinary heritage.

Guests were welcomed by a special cocktail drink (a mix of Canadian and Philippine ingredients including Canadian Gin, apple juice, calamansi juice, Baguio strawberry compote and lemon soda) prepared by the Canadian Ambassador’s Executive Chef Joseph Gomez. 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 Canadian wines.

The culinary team served a sumptuous spread:
For appetizer – Maple cured Canadian steelhead salmon with picked blueberries, micro greens, mustard citrus vinaigrette and purple potato crisps;
For the second course – Wild mushroom and Canadian pulled pork mushroom bun with forest crumb and cress
For the 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
For dessert – Bannock bread pudding with maple semi freddo and fresh Canadian berries

“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 Ms. Kathleen Donohue, AAFC Assistant Deputy Minister and Vice President of its International Affairs Branch, who is visiting the Philippines.

In the past two years, Canadian agri-food and seafood exports to the Philippines have significantly increased by an average of 49%, positioning 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.