THE Majorcan Food Fair, now in its 22nd year, is holding its annual event in the exhibition area of the Poligono Levante in Palma from 8 to 17 March.
On this occasion, there will be a special emphasis on “show cooking” where visitors will have a first-hand view of how the samples they will be tasting are being prepared. Some twenty chefs, specialising in this field will be working all hours under the direction of maestro Tomeu Esteva. Antoni Mas, president of the Bars, Cafés and Restaurants Association was a key figure at yesterday's official presentation of the fair at the Balearic Chamber of Commerce. He affirmed that gastronomy was high on the agenda not only for those who lived on the Islands but for those who visited them as well. He judged that there was an ever-increasing amount of professionals in the field who were taking advantage of the Majorcan Food Fair to publicise their considerable collective talent. In past years, the occasion has attracted between 60'000 and 63'000 visitors and for Mas, it combines “well-established tradition and ideas for the future”. The increasing number of restaurants taking part, some only participating for one or two days, bears witness to the growing popularity of the event for both guests and professionals. The familiar face of Island restaurants are not the only features of the gastronomy on offer - hotels based out in the region's country areas are also getting a look-in with four establishments registering for the first time at the exhibition area in Palma this year.
In total, this edition of the fair will encompass the services of 20 restaurants, of which six are participating for the first time along with three catering training schools, five fresh bread and pastry bakeries, nine wine companies, and four liqueur businesses. Making the most of the high profile gastronomic activity will be a mêlée of TV and radio representatives, newspaper reporters, wholesalers, promoters of well known-brands of regional food and wine, all of whom will take up another 21 stands. Not to be outdone at yesterday's presentation were Francisca Bennasar, Tourism deputy on Palma City Council, as well as representatives from the Council of Majorca, the regional ministry of Tourism, and the Foundation for Sustainable Development on the Balearic Islands. All agreed that the food and drink industry was enjoying great success as part of the attraction that the region holds for the tourist industry. Following up on this aspect, particular emphasis will be placed on advertising the event in hotels and tourist information offices on the island. Tickets only cost four euros a head and includes the right to “sample the delights” of freshly cooked traditional food. Visitors who have invested in the government sponsored “Green Card”, a project aimed at raising funds for conservation projects in the Balearics, will be able to benefit from generous discounts at the fair. Another feature of this year's gastronomic show piece will be the sale, for only half a euro of a special glass for drinking wine, as well as freshly-made fruit juice squeezed on the spot by the company Semilla, participating for the first time this year.