In a bid to make their traditional dishes better-known on the world stage, Colombian chefs are modernizing the country’s cuisine, according to a report in newspaper El Tiempo.
Chefs in various regions of the country are turning traditional regional plates into modern cuisine by tweaking the recipes and changing the presentation.
Examples presented in the article include Chef Ivan Galofre of Santo Pecado restaurant in Bogota. Galofre caters to the styles of modern cuisine, presenting each ingredient as its own dish. He serves a typical stew with each of the side dishes (yucca, potato, arracacha) presented individually, and does the same with his version of the traditional desert “matrimonio” (wedding).
“We wanted to demonstrate that our food can be served in a contemporary sphere … We want to show that it can come on pretty plates … that the ingredients can be served such that people can eat with utensils and not with their hands,” El Tiempo quotes Galofre as saying.
Chef Javier Fuentes of La Macuira restaurant, also in Bogota, takes a somewhat different approach, working to incorporate ingredients inspired by regional foods into new recipes. One example is his posta negra maki roll, inspired by the Cartagena preparation of posta negra.
Said Fuentes, “I keep in mind that the people of the town create the cuisine, that they are the ones who know the ingredients, but as a professional, one should give it the finishing touch.”
According to these men and other chefs, the goal is not to completely reconstruct Colombian cuisine, but, rather, to make it accessible on the world stage.
Said Chef Hobany Velazco, instructor at the School of Culinary Arts, “The objective is to generate a group of young people who will want to make our cuisine grow.”