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What Do You Feed Latin America’s Best Chefs?

What do you serve a room full of chefs who have perfected, reinvented, and elevated the preparation of food as we know it? This is the exhilarating task that Chef Julian Hoyos Vallejo and Chef Brian Aaron’s teams will undertake at the 2017 Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants award ceremony. The menu for the Bogotá-based event is inspired by seven Colombian territories, known as “departments,” and crafted to take some of the world’s most expert palates on a culinary journey.


7 Dishes: A Taste of Colombia


Imitation bone marrow with green pepper and cimarrón foam

This dish is inspired by the Putumayo and Caquetá departments, which are primarily flat with massive, choppy rivers. Both departments are major sources of bananas, yucca, and corn, among other crops.


Corozo meringue filled with fresh pastry cream

This creative meringue pays homage to the coastal territories of Córdoba, Sucre, and Bolivar, which are known for their fresh seafood. Beyond their Caribbean ports, however, livestock also plays a significant role in the departments’ local economies.


Grilled rib eye steak from Puerto Berrio, Antioquia, served with beef broth, creamed corn cakes, and cilantro oil

The Antioquia and Santander departments marry agriculture with industry. Their fertile terrain is ideal for raising cattle, which attendees will get to experience first-hand.


Creamy legumes served on a sagu cracker with pea sprouts salad

This salad drew inspiration from the Cundinamarca and Boyacá departments, which encompass a variety of climates ranging from scorching lowlands to frigid mountaintops.


Smoked pirarocú fish on banana leaf, cured in honey with tucupí ice cream and pickled apple

This meal of smoked fish was modeled after the cuisine from the exotic and lush Amazonas department. Home to the Amazon rainforest, this territory is known for its vast areas of beautiful, unspoiled tropical vegetation and as a popular destination for tourists from around the globe.


Sweet plantain empanadas stewed with santarrosa sausage and served with jamón ibérico, beans, cacao, and mandarin lime broth

Known as the “coffee axis of Colombia,” Quindio, Risaralda, and Caldas served as muses for this dish. The uneven terrain in these small but resource-rich areas makes them ideal for harvesting world-renowned Columbian coffee beans.


Crabmeat with dehydrated guarapo and coconut and viche granita

With its two buzzing seaports, the Chocó department has an abundance of fresh seafood. Chocó is known for its tremendous rainfall, which impedes economic activity but fuels the rapid growth of vegetation.


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