Como Sur | South American Gastronomy

All posts tagged #Nam

Ñam Shined This Weekend With Local Chilean Fare (In Pictures)

By Elizabeth Timms
Photos by Renea Pope

[Renea Pope]

[Renea Pope]

Ñam Festival hit the streets of Santiago for the fifth consecutive year this past Wednesday, complete with various activities including chef talks at Universidad Catolica, featured restaurants in Barrio La Starria, and an excellent food market on Cerro Santa Lucia.  Chefs from all over South America, particularly Chile, gave demonstrations and workshops at the various Ñam locations, including the demonstration kitchen on Santa Lucia open to the public for free from Friday through Sunday. Professional chefs conducted hour-long demonstrations in which they featured different Chilean products and showed eager audiences how to incorporate them into their cooking.

Ñam Took On Lastarria Over The Weekend

By Renea Bartlett Pope

[Renea Pope]

[Renea Pope]

The fifth annual Ñam Santiago “Festival Latioamericano de Cocina” wrapped a week’s worth of festivities across the city Sunday. For the Ñam Ruta Lastarria, the organization’s website touted specialized menus centered on the idea of memory. Wondering how participating restaurants in the Lastarria neighborhood would weave the theme throughout, I arrived with high expectations. I imagined a street level fair with a variety of booths featuring vendors of artisanal products and restaurants anchoring the event with tasting menus. 

Hit The Streets Of Santiago All This Week With Ñam (ES)

By Renea Bartlett Pope

[Raquel Telias / Ñam]

[Raquel Telias / Ñam]

Ñam, Santiago’s premiere event featuring all things food kicked off yesterday. With dozens of chefs participating from now until Sunday, surely there is a workshop or menu to suit your preferences. As Chile’s culinary scene has shifted in recent years to a deep focus on artisanal ingredients and heritage food ways, it will be interesting to see what is on offer at the festival this weekend. Located at Cerro Santa Lucía, and free to the public, Ñam is advertising this outdoor exposition as “an encounter with the best of Chile” (“Un encuentro con lo mejor de Chile”). With a claim like that, who can afford NOT to be there? Expect close to fifty vendors on hand to share the distinctive food stuffs of this diverse country.

Ñam Expands, Improves For Its Fifth Edition (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[Ñam]

[Ñam]

With culinary and cultural festivals throughout South America continuing to grow and become more wide spread, each country’s national celebration has to work hard to stay current and draw major crowds. Now in its fifth edition, Chile’s Ñam, the country’s largest and most important gastronomy festival, will be bigger, better, and more interactive than ever. The festival has expanded to six days, April 14-19, multiple sites, and this year will feature content for professionals in the food world and fanatics alike. 

Dates Have Been Announced For Chile’s 2015 Edition Of Ñam (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[Ñam]

[Ñam]

As we start to settle in to another year, it’s also time to start looking at the big events to come. Later in the year we’ll get a big dose of festivals happening across the continent, from Bogotá Wine and Food to Mistura and Bolivia’s Tambo. As usual, the event season kicks off with the fifth edition of Ñam, the major festival and symposium held in the heart of Santiago that celebrates the regional foods of Chile, as well as their neighbors like Argentina, Peru, and more. 

Alto Chef Carlos García Cooks From Memory. Watch And Get A Taste. (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[Alto]

[Alto]

Back in April at Santiago’s largest food festival Ñam, Venezuelan chef Carlos García took to the stage to talk about memory.  He was one of the chefs during the festival who most embodied this year’s theme, “¿De qué sabe tu memoria?” (What do your memories taste like?).  His presentation focused largely on talking of his childhood, the plates that his mother, grandmother, and aunts would cook, and how his experiences in the kitchens of great chefs around the world have shaped his cooking today.  In a video that’s less about the technical cooking process and largely about the bulk of memories that have shaped García’s career, get at least a small taste of what you might expect when you head to his Venezuelan headquarters, Alto.  Don’t worry, there’s some good looking plates of food, too.

(Best Of Year 1) Ñam 2014, The Day After Observations

By Patrick Hieger

(Originally published on 04.07.14)

[photo: Patrick Hieger]

[photo: Patrick Hieger]

Now that Ñam is over and the wine, hot dogs, tapas, wine, and more hot dogs begins to slowly make its way out of our bodies, let’s take a few minutes to look back at the fourth edition of Chile’s largest and most important food festival.  Lastarria couldn’t have been a better neighborhood to host the festival, within easy walking distance of great food and drinks, and already oozing with ambience.  Certainly the festival’s organizers are already taking notes about what worked, what didn’t, and what’s going to happen in 2015.  We’re already counting down the days.  Below, a look at some of the festival’s main highlights.

[photo: Patrick Hieger]

Ñam, The Day After Observations

By Patrick Hieger

[photo: Patrick Hieger]

[photo: Patrick Hieger]

Now that Ñam is over and the wine, hot dogs, tapas, wine, and more hot dogs begins to slowly make its way out of our bodies, let’s take a few minutes to look back at the fourth edition of Chile’s largest and most important food festival.  Lastarria couldn’t have been a better neighborhood to host the festival, within easy walking distance of great food and drinks, and already oozing with ambience.  Certainly the festival’s organizers are already taking notes about what worked, what didn’t, and what’s going to happen in 2015.  We’re already counting down the days.  Below, a look at some of the festival’s main highlights.

1. With the whole of Latin America combined, from Mexico to the southernmost tip of Argentina, there’s really nothing stopping the region from leading the next phase of modern food for the foreseeable future.  The innovation, simplification, and homage shown for traditional methods at this year’s Ñam was nothing short of spectacular.  As leaders in the region continue to push their own limits and discover new ingredients and techniques, we can soon expect a whole new crop of chefs to follow in their footsteps and push Latin cuisine further than was ever thought possible.

2. Rescue and return are the two new buzz words that we should be looking out for this year.  As South American chefs start to turn away from European traditions and techniques, a return to the land, to native products, and to products that we didn’t formerly know were edible is inevitable.  With restaurants like D.O.M., Central, and Boragó leading the way, and others like Quintonil, El Baqueano, and Alto falling right in step with them, there’s no telling what this year’s menus will deliver.

3.  When Hogs speaks, hot dog lovers listen.  Hogs’ special “Latin American” menu, which included signature hot dogs from Virgilio Martinez, Narda Lepes, Harry Sasson, and Jorge Vallejo, was nearly sold out by the third day of the festival, and completely unavailable on closing day.  The menu and its launch were, without a doubt, one of the shining highlights of Ñam.  Expect to see more collaborative work from the Food Lab Group in the very near future.

4.  The mystery behind the Log Ladies videos was discovered.  Unfortunately, secrecy has been sworn.

5.  Alex Atala speaks six different languages, including English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French–fluently.  He didn’t say what the other two were, but if one of them were Japanese or Russian, it wouldn’t be at all surprising.  It seems that going from punk DJ to one of the world’s leading chefs has its perks.  C’est bon, no?

6.  There is a marked divide between those wishing to pursue modern food to its limits, and those who want nothing to do with anything that isn’t “real” food.  Though Ñam closed with a very noticeable jab at some of the leaders in South America’s modern movement, their food and even their plating style, the rest of the time the comments and remarks were rather general.  That is to say, while many of the invited chefs who are on lists of the world’s best restaurants and other such lists are returning to the traditions of their countries, those chefs that never swayed from them don’t care much for modern food.

7.  Gastón Acurio is a walking production.  On the rare occasion that the godfather of Peruvian cuisine wasn’t on stage or in an auditorium, he was walking around surrounded by boom mics, video cameras, and a pack of reporters.

8.  Video is the new cooking demo.  As food continues to advance and the techniques and machines necessary to create certain dishes do, too, the live cooking demo is becoming increasingly more difficult.  Most of the invited did manage to put up at least one plate, but video was still crucial to their presentations.  Ten years ago it was virtually unheard of to have an in-house video production team.  Now, it’s basically a requirement.

9.  99 is now open.  You can start getting lunch and dinner there Monday through Friday, as of today.

10. Give a chef one hell of a hangover and they’ll give you a great presentation in return.  Not one chef showed up late, skipped a performance, or asked for a moment to themselves.  With the late night dinners, the after parties and the free wine typically going well into the early hours of the morning each day of the festival, you could see that a few of the chefs would have preferred to stay in, but none did.  In fact, it was most likely getting on stage that saved their morning.  It’s a rough life, but somebody’s gotta do it.

11.  South America has one hell of a lot of coastline and rivers to fish from.  With the ideas of rescuing product and returning to tradition as major running themes in many of the presentations, we got to hear about just how much water there is for fish to swim in.  Next time you’re eating Chilean fish in the United States, start asking yourself if you shouldn’t be looking to your own coasts and rivers.

12.  Algae is the new foie gras.  Lake algae.  Mountain algae.  River algae.  Wherever algae can grow, you can bet that leading Latin American chefs are going to find it, cook it, and serve it to you.  Luckily, the majority of it is really quite tasty.

13.  Chile has a lot of incredible artisan products from throughout its different regions.  The Ñam Mercado was an incredible look at just how much diversity there is within Chile, with products ranging from exceptional olives and olive oils, to fresh cheeses, cured meats, artisan wines, and more.

14.  Mocotó’s Rodrigo Oliveira is, without a doubt, the happiest chef on the planet.  It was all smiles and good vibes as chef praised the sausage-making presentation given by Hogs earlier in the morning on day three, and then launched free t-shirts into the crowd to end his presentation.  Want to know about all the different types of flour that Brazil has to offer?  Get an audience with Rodrigo Oliveira, and he’ll gladly tell you.

15.  Not every chef’s childhood was full of gourmet food, rich parents, or even happiness.  Memory was the other big theme of this year’s Ñam, and how that memory–of flavor, of inspiration, of someone else’s cooking–plays a huge role in the chef that each of the presenters is today.  It was interesting to hear chefs talk about their hippie parents, or dysfunctional households, growing up Jewish, or not really being much of a foodie as a kid.  There isn’t a recipe for what makes a good chef great.