From 7 to 10 November, the Colombian capital will host “A Gastronomic Continent”, the first edition of Bogotá Madrid Fusión, bringing together twenty of the world’s best chefs. Over those four days, Bogotá Madrid Fusión will offer a full and academic program with talks on international gastronomy as well as eighteen professional workshops. There will also be business conferences and networking activities, an exhibition with over a hundred companies taking part, and an important fair that will be open to the public at the Corferias convention center. The event – the most important in Latin America – is organized by the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce (CCB) and Vocento, and will bring together more than 1,400 attendees, putting Colombia on the map of elite haute cuisine congresses.
Mónica de Greiff, president of the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce, said during the presentation that, “this is a unique opportunity for the gastronomic sector of the country. We invite everyone to join us and enjoy the knowledge that comes with this Congress, which will be the most important in Latin America and will, without a doubt, contribute to strengthening the business of this industry.”
Benjamín Lana, president of Vocento’s Gastronomy Division, stated that Bogotá was chosen over Mexico, Argentina and Peru, “for its biodiversity and for its wealth of gastronomy and culture.” Its strategic location was also an influence as, “it is five hours from any place on the continent.” He added that, “when it comes to gastronomy, Colombia has more opportunities for growth than most countries on the continent.” He also highlighted the country’s new generation of young and very talented chefs that, “that will bring the country as much joy as cycling does.”
The list of great chefs who will give talks at this first edition is packed with the world’s most important culinary figures. Slovenia’s Ana Roš (Hisa Franco), Sweden’s Magnus Ek (Oaxen Krog & Slip **), France’s Akrame Benallal (Akrame *), Japan’s Yoshihiro Narisawa (Narisawa **), Argentina’s German Martitegui (Tegui), Mexico’s Enrique Olvera (Pujol **), America’s Katina y Kyle Connaughton (Single Thread ***), Peru’s Virgilio Martínez and Pía León (Central), and Spain’s Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca ***), Quique Dacosta (Quique Dacosta ***), Mario Sandoval (Coque**), Nacho Manzano (Casa Marcial **) and Maca De Castro (Maca de Castro *) are among the long list of participants. Acclaimed stars of Colombian cuisine will also be very present, with the list headed by Leonor Espinosa, Best Latin American chef in 2017, and Harry Sasson, both at the helm of restaurants offering Colombian cuisine where the most important thing is not the food, but the dignity with which tradition is regarded and the commitment to this, in particular compared to the past when it seemed that the best restaurants had to be French, Italian or Peruvian. They are joined by young talents such as: Miguel Warren, from Medellín; Álvaro Clavijo, from the restaurant El Chato; and the duo at the new restaurant Celele, Jaime Rodríguez and Sebastián Pinzón, whose are dazzling diners with their interpretation and offer of dishes from Colombia’s Caribbean regions.
Bogotá Madrid Fusión will not just be an event for professionals in the sector. Hand in hand with the congress, whose official website is now open for registrations www.bogotamadridfusion.co, a gastronomy event – open to the public – will be held at Corferias, where visitors will be able to taste little-known Colombian cuisines. On the one hand, there will be cooks preparing traditional fare from different regions of the country, while on the other, there will be young chefs whose restaurants are far from Bogotá and whose cooking has had less visibility. 10,000 visitors are expected to attend, and they will have the chance to enjoy different gastronomic experiences such as tastings and pairings that will be offered by over 100 exhibitors representing companies selling machinery and equipment, as well as suppliers of meat, poultry, fruit, processed foods, and kitchen utensils, among others.
Linked to the activities at Bogotá Madrid Fusión a Gastrofestival will be held, which – with the participation of a number of restaurants – will take this important event all over the city for a few weeks. Lastly, four-handed dinners, prepared jointly by local and international cooks, will be organized and offered for sale to the public.
Thanks to this event, Bogotá will become Latin America’s gastronomic epicenter. It will enable the city to take advantage of its strength as a geostrategic capital that is the culmination of Colombia’s abundance, its biodiversity, produce from various ecosystems, as well as its cultural and culinary diversity. Colombia has a new generation of outstanding young people who are helping to create a very important map of restaurants, increase quality tourism, reevaluate the sector, and give greater visibility to the country’s products, not to mention promoting the use of a number of little-known ingredients. Bogotá’s new restaurant landscape is evolving via the work of young chefs who look towards this country, who have opened premises that may be more casual in style, but that are greatly committed to the produce of Colombia.
A Commitment to Cultural and Creative Industries
For the past 15 years, the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce has been deeply committed to Cultural and Creative Industries. It thus – and on a permanent basis – teams up with companies in the sector with the aim of strengthening them, enhancing the business environment, and offering platforms for firms to meet and make business contacts. It has also been involved in the creation of ARTBO, Bogotá Audiovisual Market-BAM, Bogotá Music Market-BOmm, Bogotá Fashion Week-BFW, and now Bogotá Madrid Fusión.
The Chamber works with these sectors using cluster initiatives, via which actors from the public, private and academic sectors bridge the divides that limit the competitiveness of companies in these clusters. With regard to the gastronomy sector in particular, the CCB heads the Gastronomy Cluster initiative. This initiative is, in turn, part of Bogotá-Cundinamarca’s Intelligent Specialization Strategy, a program to improve the development capacity of products whose aim is to boost the region’s productivity by focusing on five areas, one of which is called the “Bogotá: Creative Region”, and which includes the gastronomy sector.
About the CCB
The Bogotá Chamber of Commerce is a private body which, since 1878, has backed the dreams of the city’s entrepreneurs and businesspeople. It has been legally designated to manage public registries. It works to promote legal security, enhance the business environment, and works in the interest of entrepreneurs. It supports companies throughout their different life cycles and promotes business in Bogotá and the region.