Please click on this LINK to be redirected to my new blog!

Thanks and see you over there!


Bogotá Eats & Drinks is Moving!

Well, I have been thinking about this for a long time and now I am pretty sure I'm going to make the switch. The blog is going to Wordpress.

I love Blogger and I highly recommend it for anyone starting out, but it seems that Wordpress has a lot of added benefits, widgets, and plug-ins that will hopefully add to the blog (and I promise, this year I will really try to be more consistent with the posts!)

Soon the whole blog business will be moved over HERE. It's still sort of under construction but it will be up and running soon...there are sooo many new restaurants opening up around town and I want to visit them all and share the latest on what Bogotá is eating and drinking.

So stay tuned and for the meantime, eat, drink, and be happy!


LOCAL {Gastronomía Nacional}: Colombian Cuisine with an Urban Spin

Appreciation for Colombian cuisine in Bogotá is constantly improving and evolving - it is after all more than just ajiaco and empanadas, and it holds the same potential for creative expression as any other cuisine. Aside from the fact that there are at least a dozen culinary schools in the capital, teaching many young eager people the skills required to be a chef, there are also established chefs who, with their influence, are creating an awareness and re-introducing typical ingredients and flavors to a more contemporary kitchen.

One of these chefs is Francisco Pinzón, who runs the kitchen at Local {Gastronomía Nacional}. His culinary inspiration comes from his childhood memories of growing up in Bogotá as well as cuisines that, over time, migrated in this direction. After working his way through several restaurants and cuisines around town, he is now a strong supporter of the organic food movement, sustainable agriculture, and "cocina de mercado" - which is basically working a daily menu depending on what is in season and available at the markets.

One of his principal inspirations is Leonor Espinosa, from the restaurant Leo Cocina y Cava. She is one of the only Colombian chef's involved in the Slow Food Movement and is truly interested in preserving traditional cuisine and techniques by implementing them in more brazen reinterpretations of the originals. Pinzón believes that Espinosa's cooking is a bit more aggressive, while his only alters small details in standard dishes such as ajiaco, carimañolas, and arroz con pollo. This is his way of adding a personal "urban" spin.

I chose Local to celebrate my birthday last year and I was pretty impressed. I hope their success continues and goes on to further educate Colombians, as well as visitors, on the array of ingredients and dishes that are available here. A short glossary is also included in the menu to further this process of culinary education.

Here are some items that were on the menu in May last year:

• Pasteles Tolimenses con tahine de arvejas (Tamal from Tolima w/ Pea Hummus)
• Morcilla Artesanal con Poleo (Colombian blood sausage with poleo, an herb traditionally used in preparation of morcilla)
• Sopa de Tomate y Trucha Ahumada (Tomato and smoked trout soup -  inspired by the cuisine of the high plains of Boyaca and Cundinamarca)
• Costilla de Cerdo ahumada con BBQ de tamarindo (Smoked ribs with tamarind BBQ sauce)
• Flan de Almojábana (Flan that borrows the flavors of a typical Colombian bread made with corn flour, cheese, eggs, butter, and sugar)

+ Join LOCAL {Gastronomía Nacional} on Facebook

CALLE 69A # 9-09


Coca Colla vs. Coke in Bolivia

"LA PAZ — President Evo Morales, Bolivia's first indigenous leader known for chewing coca leaves at UN meetings, is making a fresh push for the plant, this time in the form of the soft drink "Coca Colla."
Intended to rival its more famous US cousin, Coca Cola, the fizzy drink is at the center of a plan coca growers from the Morales stronghold of Chapare in central Bolivia submitted to the government last week to boost coca production."
Read the whole article here.


Happy New Year & Miami's Gastronomic Revolution

Best wishes to everyone in 2010 --- I know this has nothing to do with Bogotá but at least it's a post!!!

I no longer live in Miami but it will always be home. For the 10-plus years I did live there, it was never really considered a gastronomic hot spot. Of course you could get great food; a lot of Cuban cuisine, seasonal stone crab, Nuevo Latino, and lovely seafood, to name a few. You could also find a lot of farmer's markets during the cooler months and there was even a CSA (community shared agriculture) distributing fresh produce from the Redlands - but it  never really had that food-town feeling that places like New York, London, Hong Kong, or Paris have, for example.

This was true until very recently. In this article from the New York Times, Frank Bruni details some of Miami's best dining options available right now.

Although I am a little jealous that all this happened right after I left, I can say that a lot of it began while I was still there. Local chefs like Michelle Bernstein (my ex-boss at the Mandarin Oriental's Azul) continue to gain popularity along with talent like Michael Schwartz and several others. These names draw attention to Miami in a great way and bring the city closer to recognized food-town status.

I'm excited for my Miami and I hope to visit soon and eat my way around town...