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All posts tagged #Gustu

The Best Of 2014: Nueva Andina Hits Madrid Fusión

By Patrick Hieger

[photo: Dany Satine]

[photo: Dany Satine]

First, a collective gasp sounded in 2013 when NOMA co-owner Claus Meyer headed to La Paz, Bolivia to open his latest project, a non-profit school and restaurant combo that aimed to give underprivileged youth the chance to learn a trade via food, and to give Bolivia the reason to search its most remote corners and its highest peaks to find the incredible biodiversity that the country had been hiding for some years.  It was called Gustu, and with a Danish woman, Kamilla Seidler, at the helm, and a lot of images spreading beyond Bolivian borders that showed dishes unlike anything anyone had expected, they quickly gained a lot of attention.  Another gasp.  

It Looks Like La Paz’s Manq’a Program Will Head To Colombia (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[Manq'a]

[Manq’a]

When Claus Meyer speaks, you listen.  It seems that when the Noma and Gustu co-owner mentioned in an interview back in September that he was thinking of bringing his non-profit system of cooking schools to Colombia, he wasn’t lying.  As part of a two-day workshop last week in Bogotá entitled Co-Creation: Gastronomic Schools In Colombia, Manq’a Bolivia was on hand to discuss implementing the program in Colombia.  No official opening date has been announced yet, but this will be a huge move for Meyer, the Manq’a team, and Melting Pot, as their ‘food for social change’ programs spread beyond the borders of Bolivia.  

Gustu Is Hiring (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

gustuhiringIf you’re looking for the opportunity to work at one of the hottest restaurants in Latin America right now, this is it. La Paz’s Gustu is hiring for an Assistant Manager, Bar Manager, and waiter positions. Recently voted as number 32 on the list of Latin America’s 50 Best restaurants, Gustu is helping put Bolivia, and their incredible biodiversity, on the world map. For the right people, this could be an incredible opportunity. For more information, contact Darren Armstrong, a recent transplant from the United States, at armstrong@restaurantgustu.com.  Good luck.

Si estás buscando una oportunidad para trabajar en uno de los restaurantes más calientes de América Latina en este momento, es ahora.  Gustu, de La Paz, está contratando un Asistente del Jefe de Salón, un Encargado del Bar, y camarero(a)s.  Elegido en el mes pasado al número 32 en la lista de los Latin America’s 50 Best restaurantes, Gustu está ayudando a poner Bolivia, y su biodiversidad increíble, en el mapa mundial.  Para la gente adecuada, está podría ser una oportunidad increíble.  Para más información, comuníquese a Darren Armstrong, un transplante reciente de los EEUU, a armstrong@restaurantgustu.com.  Buena suerte.

Talking Bolivian Joe With Ely Abel: “It Could Become Extinct, Bolivan Coffee.”

By Patrick Hieger

[Luis Fernandez]

[Luis Fernandez]

When we talk about the gastronomic movement that’s happening in Bolivia, that’s focused on rescuing products and making sure there’s more attention paid to the small producers who have never really stopped producing the exotic products that make Bolivia so rich, it’s easy to focus much of our attention specifically on food, and the culinary side of gastronomy.  But, when the coffee buyer at a restaurant like Gustu tells you that the coffee industry in Bolivia is fading fast and could, theoretically, go extinct, it makes you see that gastronomy, and rescue, involve a much larger picture.

Post Tambo we took the time to catch up with Ely Abel, the impassioned coffee buyer for Gustu and key player in the Melting Pot foundation, to find out more about this industry that’s in need of some serious help.  Just as chefs Kamilla Seidler and Michelangelo Cestari are focused on bringing the best product into the kitchen at Gustu, Ely wants to make sure that the industry she’s been part of for several years now sticks around, and that the small lot farmers who are the back bone of Bolivian coffee get their time in the sun. 

Like New Nordic Cuisine, The Bolivian Gastronomic Movement Has A Manifesto (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[Patrick Hieger]

[Patrick Hieger]

When Claus Meyer, who co-owns Noma and co-authored the manifesto for the New Nordic Cuisine, opened Gustu, he didn’t want to just create another award-winning restaurant.  He wanted to change a country.  Because of the continued success that Bolivia’s Gustu has achieved since opening their doors last year in La Paz, it’s easy to forget that behind the restaurant is an entire movement dedicated to improving the local economy, giving local growers and producers a sustainable future, and creating pride in the incredible biodiversity that the country supports.  In fact, there’s an entire manifesto, co-written by Meyer, which states the direct objectives of what Gustu, Melting Pot, and the Danish non-profit Ibis are attempting to do in Bolivia. 

Talking Bolivia, LatAm’s 50 Best, and Noma With Claus Meyer

By Patrick Hieger

photo(86)

Last night in La Paz, after the first-ever graduation of Gustu and their non-profit foundation Melting Pot, we had a chance to sit down with Claus Meyer.  He was beaming, grinning ear to ear with excitement and emotion, overcome by what his dream three years in the making had become.  He was also ready to gush, full of nothing but excitement about Bolivia, and where it can head.

In this open, and super honest interview, Meyer talks about the differences between what he developed at Noma, and how Gustu is radically different.  He offers nothing but praise for his chefs Kamilla Seidler and Michelangelo Cestari.  And he offers some pretty serious hints that Colombia could be next for a project of this kind.  It’s a long interview, but full of amazing quotes and worth a complete read.  Meyer’s passion for what he’s doing in South America is intoxicating, and it seems to have caught on. 

Last Night Gustu / Melting Pot Graduated Their First Class

By Patrick Hieger

photo 2(26)

It was an emotional evening at La Paz’s Gustu last night. At nearly three years in the making, the first-ever class of Claus Meyer’s Melting Pot foundation graduated, and perhaps no one was happier than Papa Claus himself.  “When I first thought to do this, I didn’t know it was possible,” Meyer said.  But as a dozen students’ parents and relatives, as well as their mentors and friends Kamilla Seidler and Michelangelo Cestari looked on, everything seemed possible, a massive step in a whole new direction for Bolivia.

As Meyer began his speech, telling of the very long road it took him to end up devoting so much of his time to Bolivia, his team of mentors, chefs, and leaders sat listening, the whole room charged with emotion.  “To see you sitting here graduating, and to come here as a guest in this building that is so full of life, and to see how many people Kamilla and Michelangelo have trained, it is the most important thing I have ever been a part of.”  Although he founded Noma, and continues to be one of the world’s most successful restaurateurs, you could see on Meyer’s face something that went beyond joy, into a territory of satisfaction that even he might have never thought possible.  It seemed that none of the praise for having consistently been ranked the number one restaurant in the world really mattered. He had changed lives, and each of them was looking back with nothing but gratitude. 

Recap: Mistura / Qaray, Day 1

By Patrick Hieger

DSC_0054Mistura 2014 officially opened its doors to the public yesterday, bringing with it more food, more novelties, and a brand new chef’s symposium, this year dubbed Qaray.  The look and feel of this year’s festival are new, and better.  Although the first day is never as full as it will be well on into the week, it seems like a new level of organization will keep things running more smoothly, with more organized, if not shorter lines, and a new crop of restaurants eager to dish out their best.

Over at Qaray, the day got off to a running start when Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow Food, delivered one of the most powerful inaugural speeches ever.  Chefs this year are in rare form, and it certainly feels like a new era is upon us.  No more of the “fuck off we’re just going to show you a video so you get what we do,” careless attitude that makes festivals boring.  No, everyone’s here with a mission this year, and it’s all worth listening to.  We can expect some big ripples to come out of the symposium this year, that won’t simply affect Latin America, its chefs and its cuisine.  This is a big year of change, and the chats at Qaray could be setting a whole new standard for what we expect from chefs.  Get ready.

Below, the hits: