The Board of Trustees of Far Eastern University (FEU), led by its Chair Aurelio Montinola III and President Dr. Michael Alba, conferred Margarita Forés — internationally-acclaimed chef and restaurateur — with the degree of Doctor of Entrepreneurial Management Honoris Causa.
“FEU recognizes Forés for being an outstanding individual who pursued excellence by establishing businesses in the hospitality and culinary industry,” says Chair Montinola.
Dr. Forés showcases extensive experience in gastronomy par excellence having catered, through her 35-year-old catering company Cibo di M Signature, royalties and heads of state including the Duke of York and the King and Queen of Spain at the Palacio Real de El Pardo in Madrid during the state visit of former Philippine President Gloria Arroyo (2007), US President Barack Obama (2015), Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan, and His Serene Highness of Monaco (2016).
“She is a passionate advocate for the best locally sourced organic produce from provincial farmers and celebrates homegrown ingredients. She proved to be a bonafide locavore when she opened Grace Park, a restaurant that celebrates homegrown ingredients,” adds Montinola.
During her commencement speech, Forés shared that failures were her bigger lessons than successes. It was after Cibo’s success that she found her true calling.
“I want to rediscover our own cuisine and our ingredients, a lesson I learned from getting to know Italian cuisine and culture and their respect for ingredients. Today, my real advocacy and what I thrive on, and what I really want to do until I get old is to continue to push for Filipino cuisine, Filipino ingredients, support the Filipino farmer and the artisan, and really put our cuisine on the global stage,” Forés said.
Dr. Forés is also well known for delivering high-quality gourmet cuisine to the Filipino public. She is the owner of Cibo, Italian restaurant, and Lusso, a champagne bar. The recent additions to her roster of restaurants are The Loggia at Palacio de Memoria and in Manila Polo Club where she runs the venue’s food and beverage operations, including the lounge, cafe, and banquet service, and the Museya Kafé that opened this year in Ayala Museum.
The conferment of honorary degree was witnessed by thousand graduands from the Institute of Accounts, Business and Finance, and the Institute of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the Philippine International Convention Center.