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Macao Travel News

Launch of Macanese Cuisine Database promotes Macao as UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy

A database of Macanese cuisine tracking the cuisine’s recipes and culinary arts, was officially launched in November. The launch of the Macanese Cuisine Database is a major milestone in Macao’s development as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.

Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) Director Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes announced the launch of the gastronomy database at the “Macao・Creative City of Gastronomy” work meeting, convened on 24 November to exchange perspectives on how to advance Macao’s development as a Creative City of Gastronomy.

The database is available to all online at Included in the database are 26 books and publications about Macanese cuisine, 19 manuscripts and 297 recipes. The information was collected from a worldwide search that has included Macanese people, the International Institute of Macau, Macanese Library website, the Macao SAR Government Cultural Affairs Bureau and IFTM.

The gastronomy website features eight videos about Macanese cuisine that will be expanded as MGTO partners with the community and industry to create and launch more content that presents the culinary arts and culture of Macanese cuisine.

Additionally, a physical display at the library of the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM) will help educate, preserve and promote the city’s distinctive food culture. Among the resources available to the public are original copies of books about Macanese cuisine. The library’s themed corner on Macanese culture was unveiled as the database was launched.

Macao preparing second four-year action plan

Officials from MGTO and other government entities, joined representatives from academia and industry for the “Macao・Creative City of Gastronomy” work meeting, held for the third year. Senna Fernandes led the meeting in her role as MGTO Director and focal point for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in Macao. Also in attendance were MGTO Deputy Directors Cheng Wai Tong and Ricky Hoi; IFTM President Fanny Vong; Deputy Director of Economic Bureau Chan Tze Wai; and representatives from multiple Macao SAR Government bureaus, and industry delegates.

Shared with the group was an update from the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, a summary of the work accomplished by MGTO to foster the city’s development as a Creative City of Gastronomy, and future work plans. Senna Fernandes pointed out that some initiatives and activities scheduled for this year were cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including “International Gastronomy Forum, Macao” and the UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy cooking show.

After gaining the designation as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in 2017, Macao mapped out a four-year action plan to unfold between 2018 and 2021. Next year, Macao will submit its first four-year work report to UNESCO. Senna Fernandes suggested next year’s report should offer an account of the Macao SAR Government’s pandemic prevention measures in the catering industry and in the area of food safety.

Work on the second four-year work plan (2022-2025) will involve industry operators in gathering suggestions about creativity and in contributing ideas and effort to Macao’s sustainable development as a Creative City of Gastronomy.

Widespread efforts

At November’s work meeting, various governmental officials delivered summaries of their work and accomplishments. Delegates to the meeting from industry shared details about the tasks currently underway.

Industry delegates agreed on the importance of pandemic prevention and efforts by the Macao SAR Government to promote Macao as a safe destination. Other issues raised by delegates included concerns about the preservation and inheritance of gastronomic culture, the prospects for local catering businesses, cooperation across the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, economic issues, and the history of Macanese cuisine.

Despite the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic this year, MGTO continued leading Macao’s endeavours as a Creative City of Gastronomy. In 2020, Macao participated in the 3rd UNESCO Creative Cities Beijing Summit, and promoted Sustainable Gastronomy Day, producing videos on Macanese gastronomy and online learning for catering professionals. Most recently, among other initiatives, MGTO welcomed a delegation from Huai’an and shared Macao’s experience in applying to become a Creative City of Gastronomy.