World Street Food Congress canceled (again)

Photo: World Street Food Congress/FB.
Photo: World Street Food Congress/FB.

Will there ever be another World Street Food Congress here in Manila? Not anytime soon, according to an announcement from its organizers today.

The World Street Congress (WSFC) 2019 has been canceled by the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) for no apparent reason, the WSFC organizers said in a statement posted on Facebook today.

The WSFC called the decisions “very disturbing and disappointing.”

“The World Street Food Congress 2019 Philippines, all set and officially approved recently, is again cancelled, like they did in 2018. No reason nor rhyme was given and this, was after 6 months of legwork the WSFC did in curating and [accommodating] the TPB [and] DOT ideals for the event,” the statement reads.

The WSFC is an annual festival organized by Singapore-based company Makansutra that aims to showcase street food from all over the world. It was last in the Philippines in 2017, when it gathered more than 20 street food masters at the SM Mall of Asia complex. There were also panels that consisted of culinary experts including the late Anthony Bourdain. It was also held in the Philippines in 2016.

It was set to return last year but was also canceled by the TPB for still undisclosed reasons. The WSFC said in February that it would hold another event in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City in October, but this will no longer happen, based on their announcement today.

This, even though the organizers said that they have already invited chefs and vendors from 14 countries, as well as international speakers and culinary colleges in the Philippines.

“This [is] unbecoming of the TPB and DOT, but we doubt this is personal as we have a good working relationship with the ground team,” the WSFC said.

It also apologized to those who were looking forward to the event and said that it will work to still have it push through.

“We still believe this event is good for the Philippines and we will press on to deliver it, albeit, we have to go back to drawing table.”

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