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.