“Flavors of the World” monthly events are a reminder to gather around the dinner table with friends and family and take pleasure in gastronomy. The artful presentation of plates, exquisite tastes, and introduction to new flavors are something to be appreciated and discovered. This month, Flavors of the World took us on a gastronomic journey to Bolivia with Gustu Restaurant positioned among the 50 best Latin Restaurants. The restaurants head chef, Marsia Taha, is part of the new generation of talented chefs at Gustu who are committed to creating innovative dishes made with 100% local Bolivian products.
This edition not only had the traditional Chef’s tasting menu at La Piazzetta on Friday and Saturday night but also a presentation on Bolivia’s gastronomy and how they believe food can be a driver of social change. The talk was headed by Chef Coral Ayoroa, a La Paz native and a key element in the success that Bolivia’s Gustu and Melting Pot Foundation have achieved. Coral began as a Sous Chef at Gustu/Melting Pot, and now is in charge of education at the Melting Pot foundation.
The vision of this innovative restaurant goes beyond positioning itself in gourmet haute cuisine, but it also shares a great social responsibility to provide gastronomic education to young Bolivians of limited resources. Claus Meyer, co-founder of Noma a Danish restaurant in Copenhagen, founded the Melting Pot Foundation in 2010 and three years later opened Gustu with the intention of starting a new Bolivian gastronomic movement. Now the restaurant has become an independent company with a school within its facilities, many of its students are chefs, bartenders, sommeliers, and waiters. Melting Pot Bolivia is a non-profit foundation that promotes the economic, social, and sustainable development of the gastronomic and agricultural sectors of Bolivia. It works by renovating and promoting Bolivia’s national cuisine via social services for the neediest sectors of Bolivia, giving underprivileged youth a chance to take part in Bolivian gastronomy.
‘Gustu’, which in the native Quechua language means “flavor”, is a restaurant that not only puts on a sophisticated menu but also authentic, and they pride themselves in labeling their menu and creations 100% Bolivian. The menu was indeed something different than what we are used to eating in the Dominican Republic but at the same time flavourful. With most of the dishes featuring amaranth, often called “grain of the Gods,”, a superfood that has been cultivated for at least 8000 years and it is said to be one of the best sources of vegetable protein in the world together with quinoa. The grain, along with others, could be found in almost all the dishes served.
During the night the staff of Gustu headed by Chef Marsia Taha delighted us with 7 dishes. The first was an organic carrot covered in roasted garlic, and amaranth followed by serving of oxtail with pink “cañahua”, a grain which along with the amaranth and the quinoa constituted the golden trio of the Incas’ food due to their incredible nutritious value. That night we were also served one of their most popular dishes, the amaranth caviar with açaí, amazonian almond milk and malted wheat – which if you ask anybody that went to the tasting dinner, we are sure they would agree with us that they could eat this every morning! To finish off the night, the dessert was Kari Kari, with chocolate and hibiscus a dish that mixed the characteristic flavor of chocolate with the sweet and sour taste of raspberries and the crunch of toasted grains.
This edition of Flavors of the World was indeed one that we will remember for a while! Flavors of the World has been a successful highlight in Casa de Campo over the past two years and we urge you not to miss the upcoming events. Flavors of the World returns on August 3rd with the Argentine chef Fernando Rivarola from El Baqueano restaurant – Stay tuned for the details!
The following pictures were taken by Mariobi Herrera on Friday, July 6th at La Piazzetta:
and on Saturday, July 7th during the presentation by Chef Coral Ayoroa:
Event pictures courtesy of Flavors of the World taken by Yovanny Rapozo:
UPCOMING FLAVORS OF THE WORLD
August 3-5: Argentina. Chef: Fernando Rivarola, from El Baqueano Restaurant
October 5-7: Venezuela. Chefs: Carlos García and Santiago Gomez, from Alto Restaurant
November 16-18: Brasil and Peru. Chefs: Jefferson Rueda, from Casa do Porco Restaurant, and Renzo Garibaldi, from Osso Restaurant
To book your reservation for the next “Flavors of the World” event call the resort directly at (855) 877-3643, (800) 336-5520, or (809) 523-3333 ext. 3165 and 3166.