The Caribbean and its culinary biodiversity opened the Friday afternoon at the Haute Cuisine Congress Bogotá Madrid Fusión organized byh the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá and Spain's Grupo -vocento. This journey throughout Colombia's northern coast was handled by Jaime Rodriguez and Sebastián Pinzón, both from the Celele restaurant in Cartagena de Indias.

November 9, 2019

This pair of chefs took on the challeng to rescue the flavors and traditions of the Caribbean cuisine and bring them to haute cuisine, which they´ve done with greatness. Throughout both exploration routes, they have traveled all over the Atlantic coast to learn about products and flavors hidden in this noble region, as large as they are diverse.

The northern route began in Cartegena and ended in La Guajira, passing through Barranquilla, Santa Marta and the emblematic Sierra Nevada, which has all the thermic floors an ecosystem could h ave, from sea level to 5000 meters above, while the southern route which took off at the heroic city, led them to towns in Sucre, Córdoba and Bolívar, and landed them in the Mary Mounts.

In this exploration, which took over three years, they ran into products such as the paso plantain, a plantain that is dehydrated on the rooftops with a smokey flavor, sun-dried shrimp from La Guajira, hot cacho pepper, malanga, guajiro beans (unique in its specie with the ability to grow in the dessert), and goat, an indispensable animal in the savanna farms, from Riohacha to Punta Gallinas, a spot in northern Colombia where the sea runs into the dessert sand.

From the Caribbean flavors, the culinary magic transported participants to oriental wisdom with Yoshihiro Narisawa, two Michelin stars, ranked 22 in the World 50 Best and 8 in the Asia 50 Best, who began with a reflection about environmental problems and climate change issues challeging the world today, which necessarily led particpants to seek new gastronomical options.

For this, Narisawa came to Bogotá Madrid Fusión with an haute cuisine proposal that expresses the Japanese tradition of culture and sensibility in its dishes, where vegetables, grains, seafood and, of course, soy and rice, are the protagonists.

From the seas of Asia, Bogotá Madrid Fusión continued to lead participants on atrip to the North American Pacific with Katina & Kyle Connaughton, from the Single Thread three Michelin star restaurant, who came from the shores of San Francisco, California to talk about Nature and hospitality, a space and time nexus.

For them, the customer´s experience is primary, and it is bassed on understanding that modern luxury is time, so they have endeavored to generate the capacity to provide a space in which to relax and disconnect from the rest of the world, because life is changing constantly, and it is important to stop, recognize the present and create special memories.
Among flowers, sounds, flavors and aromas, the experience offered at Single Thread is not limited to a restaurant or a menu. There are always elements that aim to express moments and generate sensations which vary according the each customer´s characteristics, where diversion is a basic ingredient.
Off to Spain again, Nacho Manzano, the great self-taught chef, two Michelin stars, branded by the identity of the Asturian cuisine, presenting The affinity of texture.

Casa Marcial, Nacho´s restaurant, is the heart of the action. Located in a village with only 5 houses, in a hidden corner somewhere in Spain, where cyclist Lucho Herrera rode in 1987 to win the Spanish Tour, the same year in which Manzamo would begin his career as chef at the ripe young age if 15.
The guiding thread of this star´s preparations is in the textures, because for him, they are the raison détre. Tender kernels, the creamy texture of avocado with caviar, or chewy octopus, exemplify the why, and the answer is when they are smelled, chewed, tasted, because the tongue is what really experiences the food.

Closure for this event returned to Colombia, immersed in the Amazonian jungles, with a performance that evoked the preparation of the mambe, an ancestral tradition with which Leonor Epinosa worked her Amazonian Synthesis, in which she framed the use of products like yucca, fariña and macambo,directly explained by two indigenous persons who shared the knowledge of this wisdom, in order to understand this food from another perspective, because using these wise ingredients calls for living this culture’s experience.

The protagonist of Leo´s kitchen is the territory, and as she herself affirms, life has given her the possibilithy of transmitting this ancestral knowledge with its uses and customs to the Colombian people, and to the world, and also showing the importance of experimentation.

For Leonor, cuisine is culture, politics, and a vehicle that constantly narrates, which is why gastronomy is the best way to recover traditions, and chefs are in charge of showing this, because the ingredient that is still missing from positioning Colombian cuisine in the international arena is pride, ,as the ingredients are all there.
Chefs and diners, Colombian and foreigners, everyone that enjoyed the taste of Colombia has a fundamental role: to be ambassadors of a traditional cuisine, full of color and sea, valleys and mountains, all of which came together at Bogotá Madrid Fusión, and is lived in every corner of this beautiful country.