By Colin Bennett

[photo: Lauren Barragan]

[Lauren Barragan]

Get ready for more post-dieciocho fun at Echinuco 2014. Now in its fourth installment, Echinuco stands for Encuentro Chileno de Nuestra Cocina and prides itself as a promoter of Chile’s national cuisine. If you have never been before, it’s sort of a brand-tastic and affluent version of Chile’s many regional, and very country, cultural and culinary fairs. It comes adorned with empty fruit boxes, plenty of Chilean flags, plopped right into the scenic Parque Bicentenario, with the towers of Sanhatten in the backdrop.

This year will have all the same format of stands, restaurants, novelties and seminars as in past editions. The presenting chef roaster for this year includes Buenos Aires based Martín Montelli (@mm_puratierra); José Luis Merino, the force behind some of Santiago’s best watering holes and eateries like Ciudad Vieja, Ciudadano, Mamboleta, Bravo Cabrera and La Percanta; Executive Chef of the Plaza San Francisco Axel Manriquez (@axelcocinero), Top Chef judge Carlo Von Mühlenbrock  (@carlo_cocina); as well as Tomás Olivera (@TOLchef) and Valparaiso’s Gonzalo Larra.

The theme for this year is “seeds”, so many of the chefs and other presenters have prepared their talks around this topic. Will that mean metaphors of planting and harvest applied to something else? Jabs at Monsanto? Or Something else? You’ll just have to go to find out. The schedule can be found here.

This year will also be the first for Echinuco’s own Foundation, which was established in March of this year to support small culinary businesses. The organizers are working with Cencosud’s supermarket chain Jumbo to hold seminars for small business owners, and have also organized a roundtable meeting event for participating companies.

But more than business, the event is about food and drinks, and there will be plenty, from small producers selling gourmet products to terremotos, artisan beer, and plenty of other food stands. Also debuting in this year’s installment is the “Barra de Copas”, which features a wide selection of wines from throughout Chile. This section costs CLP 3000 for a glass and six tastings. Organized by Boutique Terroirs and hosted by Chilean wine writer Mariana Martínez, there will be 76 different wines you can sample here.

The entry costs CLP 6.000 per person, and students with Chile’s official student pass can get in for CLP 1,000 on Friday. The show lasts from Friday October 3 until Sunday, October 6.

(Friday, by the way, is a great day to go since the weekends can get packed.)



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