World’s Food Expo 2005 To a gourmand and a budding culinary arts professional the experience of attending WOFEX ’05 can be best likened to a kid set free in a candy store, but truly it is ineffable.

The HACCP seminar which I intended to attend was rescheduled to 17:00 from the original schedule of noontime and I thus decided to spend my time networking and getting to know what’s new in the world of food, food manufacturing, and other such related industries. The free samples given were enough to make me purchase a couple of items which were given at a considerable discount. I met a few people whom I have had pleasant encounters with before, in particular the owner of the Rai Rai Ken chain of Japanese restaurants who personally handed me a tomodachi card when I had lunch at their Malate branch with some of my closest Japanese and Korean classmate from CSB SHRIM.

The most interesting part of my afternoon at WOFEX ’05 involved a German lady, named Marlies Grumbach, who was singlehandedly manning her booth which, for some reason, was not attracting so many people. I approached the booth and took a look at the bottles of fine wine and learned from the labels that they were Riesling wines of German origin. I then approached her and said “Guten Tag”, which is more or less all the German I know. All was well though because she also had a very good command of the English language.

I automatically asked to buy one bottle but, alas, she was still looking for an importer and was thus not even able to give a price but assured me I could have as much as I would like for free. I learned that her company, Wineland GmbH, sent her over to the Philippines to create a presence for their products. After properly nosing and tasting about 7 different varietals of their finest Riesling, in Teutonic amounts I might even add, I told her that I liked one particular vintage over the others. To my surprise, it was not one of their top end wines and only costs 3 euros in Germany, the most expensive wine they had on hand was a 7.5% alc. semi-sweet variety which sold for 18 euros. I can hardly wait for WOFEX 2006 and maybe, just maybe, seeing Marlies again.