The show will premiere Fórum Lab, a specific space dedicated to innovation
Under the slogan ‘(Re)think about gastronomy’, the Fórum Gastronómico Barcelona, promoted by its alliance with Fira de Barcelona through Alimentaria Exhibitions, will bring together the great chefs who will share the limelight with small producers and large companies in an event in which they will show their latest creations and reflect on the future of the sector. The event, which will tackle gastronomy and foodservice from all angles, will encourage debate and innovation in a new space, the Fórum Lab.
Carme Ruscalleda, Raül Balam (Moments), Paco Pérez (Enoteca), Jordi Cruz (Àbac), Enrique Valentí (Marea Alta), Artur Martínez (Aürt), Carles Tejedor (BeSo) and Oliver Peña (Enigma) are some of the chefs who have already confirmed their presence in a salon with the aim of ‘(Re)thinking about gastronomy’, returns to Barcelona from 18 to 20 November 2019, and hopes to become a space for reflection and gastronomic innovation, which brings together transversally all the agents of the sector.
The co-director of the Forum, Pep Palau, points out that “we believe that we are in a moment that invites reflection and introspection, after many years of trepidantes growth and progression, with a frenetic rhythm of technological innovations and a model of incessant creativity, all derived, among other things, from the inheritance of elBulli, we want to offer the opportunity to stop and to analyze the moment that lives the current gastronomy with all its protagonists“.
The Fórum Gastronómico Barcelona will be held in Hall 8 of the Fira de Barcelona’s Montjuïc exhibition centre and has already sold more than 70% of the 6,000 m2 of exhibition space planned. Companies such as Estrella Damm, Tupinamba, Sosa, Balfegó, Bidfood, Friolisa, Complet Hotel, Girbau, Pordamsa or Soublin have already confirmed their participation in the event, which will also have the presence of small producers. In total, more than 200 exhibitors are expected to participate.
According to Josep Alcaraz, co-director of the show, “we are very satisfied with the good rate of contracting that allows us to be optimistic in our objective of doubling the space occupied the last time the Forum was held in Barcelona, in 2016“. Alcaraz also particularly appreciates the mix of participating companies “which ranges from groups of manufacturers and distributors of food and services for the food industry to small local producers, which underlines the differential spirit that has always characterized the show.”
A space for reflection and business
Another space for reflection on the kitchen and the new business models that have emerged in recent years is the new Fórum Lab, where, in Palau’s words, “you won’t cook, you won’t taste, you won’t eat: you will reflect on how to innovate in a sector in permanent transformation“. Fórum Lab starts this year with the will to become a pillar for gastronomic innovation, which welcomes different representatives of the sector in a transversal way. Conferences, round tables, small speeches and all kinds of activities related to dissemination beyond gastronomic practice will take place in this space that will be developed in three axes: sustainability, digitization and business.
Palau points out that “the Fórum has a particularity that the sector has welcomed with great enthusiasm: it is the space in which everyone fits, from the big company to the small producer, and this transversality is rarely found in a single space“.
In fact, for Palau, “the revaluation of local produce, of small producers, even of their own productions, is one of the great trends that have been setting the sector in recent years, which each chef adapts to their own forms, possibilities and concerns“. For this reason, it is important that the Fórum Gastronómico Barcelona reflects “the sector’s sensitivity towards sustainability, social responsibility and the choice of a product with ethical values“.
Wine gains presence
The Fórum Gastronómico Barcelona will emphasize the new protagonism that the sommelier has in the restaurant, so it will also include the specialized proposal Fòrum Vi, which will host the presentations of the best oenologists, wine growers, sommeliers and prescribers.
On the other hand, three awards will be given in the hall: Cuiner 2019 Fòrum Gastronòmic will distinguish the work of emerging chefs who use local products; the Josep Mercader Prizes will recognise the professional careers of chefs, oenologists, room managers, producers and disseminators of Catalan culinary culture; and the InnoFòrum will award innovation in gastronomy in different categories: the most creative packaging, the most innovative product and the most original flavour.
Fórum Gastronómico and Alimentaria Exhibitions
Fórum Gastronómico Barcelona will be the first organised by Fira de Barcelona, through its company Alimentaria Exhibitions, jointly with Fórum Gastronómico. Born in 1999, the Fórum Gastronómico celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2019. In addition to Barcelona, it is also held in Girona and A Coruña.
Alimentaria Exhibitions has a portfolio of shows including Alimentaria Barcelona, Barcelona Wine Week, Alimentaria FoodTech, Alimentaria & Horexpo Lisboa and Expo ANTAD & Alimentaria México.