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Copy of Official 3rd Filfood Conference



Charmaine Yalong

Commercial Attache of the Department of Trade, Philippines

Charmaine has extensive experience spearheading capability building activities for Philippine exporters and SMEs and holds a Master's Degree in Business Management from the University of the Philippines and Bachelor's in International Relations from Ateneo de Manila University.


Her topic: "PH Expo Engagement and the Philippine Food Festival", on March 4 at 10:15am.


Chef Fernando Aracama

Filipino Chef and Restaurateur of Aracama, The Palace and Early Night? in the Philippines

Active in culinary education and effectve in managing modern F&B businesses and concepts. He is a Past President of the LTB  (La Toque Blanche) Philippines Chefs Association. He is currently the Corporate Secretary & Chef Mentor of the Philippine Young Chefs Club.


His topic: "Balancing Profit & Sustainability in designing winning menus", March 4 at 9:45am.

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Chef Stefan Borchardt

Chef Stefan is the Group Head Chef of Sarood Hospitality  which also owns the Noodle House brand. He recently undertook a tour of Asia with his team to delve deep into the Asian street food and explore new ingredients that can be incorporated into The Noodle House’s menu, while respecting UAE diners taste palates and preferences. In addition, he is increasingly becoming an advocate for environmental sustainability in all brands he touches.


Chef Stefan's topic: UAE F&B Industry Outlook > Global and Local Trends & Opportunities for Filipino F&B Operators - March 4 at 9:15am.

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Sunjeh Raja

Director & CEO, International Center for Culinary Arts, ICCA Dubai

Sunjeh Raja is the Founder, Director & CEO of the ICCA Dubai, a world-class culinary training center established in the year 2005. Since then he has been spearheading the engagement of the company’s Vocational Education Training (VET) programs and takes on a holistic approach to establish ICCA Dubai as a Center of Excellence, offering world-class culinary education. He adopts a very practical and innovative approach with an eye for detail, to continually develop the concept of industry-focused training and outcome-driven learning.


Sunjeh will join a panel discussion on the UAE's F&B Industry and the Global and Local Trends & Opportunities for Filipino F&B Operators on March 3 at 9:15am.

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David O'Brien

Managing Director of LucaZara DMCC based in Dubai.

David has 30 years’ experience in Agri, Food & FMCG from farming, primary processing, manufacturing, trading & retailing. One of the brands managed by LucaZara are the famous Pink Lady® apples from Australia.


Watch David's talk about "UAE Modern Retail Trade & Intricacies" on March 3 at 9:45am.

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Monique Naval

Senior Analyst at Euromonitor International

Monique is part of the global Food and Nutrition team that provides strategic recommendations to the world’s largest FMCG companies, shaping the food industry. She leads Middle East and North Africa research and specialises in Packaged Food, Pet Food, Food Packaging and Consumer Foodservice. A seasoned speaker, she received the awards “Competent Communicator” and “Competent Leader” from Toastmasters International and delivered keynote presentations at the 25th edition of Gulfood and Yummex Middle East.


Monique will be a panelist on the topic: "Evolution of Filipino Food- Where is it going now?", March 3 at  11am.


Iman Suguitan

Co-Founder of CO CHOCOLAT.

Managing Director and Creative Head of Ahsant Global.

For the past ten years, she has been the go-to of regional and international hotel chains leading OS&E projects from idea to manufacturing. In 2018, together with France-trained maitre chocolatier Luchie Suguitan, they launched Co Chocolat which is a farm-to-table, single origin, fine flavor cacao and artisan chocolate brand. By avoiding sugar, using superfoods, ancient grains and other healthy ingredients, they are redefining the meaning of luxury chocolates in the region. Iman is an alumna of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and the University of the Philippines.


Listen to Iman's topic: "Redefining Luxury Chocolates and Single-Origin Cacao in the International Market", March 3 at  10:30am.

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Joan Tuano, ACIM

Culinary Business Manager at Asia Gulf Trading LLC and  Consultant on Strategic Marketing and Customer Experience (CX)

Joan takes pride in practicing  intrapreneurship in every brand she touches- it's not just a job for her, but the whole picture. With a bachelor's in International Hospitality Management from top Swiss school Les Roches and experience with luxurious brands like Aman Resorts, the Ritz-Carlton and Louis Vuitton, Joan knows what the elements of a great customer experience are.

Listen to Joan's talk on "CX2020: Valuing customer experience to stay ahead of the game", March 3 at  10am.


Ken Peralta

Operations Manager at Razons of Guagua

Ken has almost ten years of experience in notable brands across the UAE including being part of the opening team of Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Business Development at the Meydan Hotel IMAX theatre and Little Manila restaurants,  and now Brand Manager at Razon’s of Guagua, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Ken will be moderating the Filfood Conference Program on Wed March 4 and will lead the panel on the topic: "Why do some restaurants open and expand while others close ?", March 4 at  11am.

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Jovy Tuano

Industrial entrepreneur and Managing Director of Asia Gulf Trading LLC.

Jovy moved to the UAE in '97 and worked in the airline industry before getting into entrepreneurship in 2004 when he also founded the Philippine Business Council. Asia Gulf now owns two brands- Filfood and La Carne Premium Meat, the best multi-brand butcher shop in Abu Dhabi.


Jovy will speak on the "Filipino Food 2020 Challenge"on both 3rd and 4th of March at 9am.

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Richard Haddad

Chief Executive Officer at Jannah Hotels & Resorts

With over two decades of experience in the hospitality industry, Richard spearheads the vision of the company from A-Z,  driving the company’s growth strategy, increasing operational efficiency and overseeing the next phase of development ensuring that every step from well-devised strategies through to detailed operational management initiatives are delivered professionally and efficiently. He is also leading the development of the upcoming projects and hotels including launching a new modern culinary Filipino restaurant concept in UAE with multiple outlets.

Richard will be a panelist on the topic: "Why do some restaurants open and expand while others close ?", March 4 at  11am.

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Justin Clarke

Director of Sustainability​ at Orbis Bioware

Orbis BioWare is the leading compostable packaging manufacturer in the UAE. Justin's role is to transform the way the hospitality industry presents packaging to consumers and to ensure a complete move away from single use plastics. One of his more recent inventions include a bamboo pizza saver removing around 13 tonnes of single use plastic from the environment per year in the UAE alone and a 100% plant based compostable water bottle with tamper proof screw cap. #nomoreplastic.”


Justin will be a panelist on the topic: "Evolution of Filipino Food- Where is it going now?", March 3 at  11am.

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Philip Vazquez

Operations Manager at Kasamar Holdings


Philip was head of the opening team and now manages the brands of Teriyaki Boy and Sizzlin' Steak here in the UAE, as well as new brands like Hen Lin.


Philip will be a panelist on the topic: "Why do some restaurants open and expand while others close ?", March 4 at  11am.

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