In this exclusive interview, restauranteur Margarita "Gaita" Fores talks about the state of the F&B industry and food trends to watch out for.

Almost a year ago to date, renowned restaurateur and Asia Best Female Chef (in 2016) Margarita "Gaita" Fores returned to Manila after a four-hands collaboration with Chef Lennox Hastie of Firedoor in Sydney. Only days prior, news broke out that cities around the world were going on lockdown.

When actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson also announced that they, too, had contracted the virus while in Australia, the reality of a pandemic became real. It told many of us that the virus was not just a static news item. It reminded us that celebrity or otherwise, everyone was and continues to be susceptible.

For Gaita who was traveling from Australia, it hit even closer to home. As she disembarked the aircraft in Manila, she set foot in a ghost town. She recalled, “The government announced lockdowns on March 15 and my flight back was a few days after.” Since that day, the F&B industry and life as we know it, have never been the same.

The series of unprecedented events led to inspired pivots, new passions, and lifelong lessons that would forever change the way we dine and partake in a meal. What Margarita Fores describes as the “ball from left field,” also shaped the new dining movements and trends leading us during the pandemic.

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