Panaji, December 2021: V. M. Salgaocar Institute of International Hospitality Education (VMSIIHE) held the fifth edition of its online series ‘Culinary Conversation’ with Chef Abilio Guerreiro, Chef Trainer & Culinary Course Coordinator- School of Hospitality and Tourism- Algarve – Tourism of Portugal.

Over an hour-long online session, students of VMSIIHE interacted with chef Abilio on everything related to the Mediterranean diet and food tourism. To a question asked by student Rowan Gonsalves onwhat measures young chefs should implement towards sustainable food management, Abilio said, “We need to reduce waste and animal consumption due to climate change. For example, in Portugal,  a law is passed wherein it bans plastic usage at restaurants and hotels. Also, we need to use technology innovatively in order to reduce energy consumption”. 

“Food tourism is about being authentic, whether the tourist is exploring a country, region, city, or neighborhood, they’re still searching to find a sense of the place through its food. 55% of culinary travelers are motivated by the search for authenticity of food cuisine, one has to defend the local cuisine by incorporating trends and innovating it”, added Chef Abilio.

He pointed out that culinary travelers visiting Portugal love visiting wineries, markets, and farms, participating in cooking classes, food tours, special dining, and love attending food-related events and festivals. 63% of these travelers love clicking and sharing food-related pictures.

Speaking further on the Mediterranean diet he said that the Mediterranean diet involves a set of skills, knowledge, rituals, symbols, and traditions concerning crops, harvesting, fishing, animal husbandry, and cooking. It is a millenary diet that consists of ingredients that are locally sourced and very high in nutritional content such as fresh fish, shrimp, octopus, olives, olive oil, and salt. Eating together is the foundation of the cultural identity and continuity of communities throughout the Mediterranean basin.