The latest chef to pop up as part of the Cocina sin Fronteras, Virgillo Martinez from Lima’s Central, sequence had naturally packed some ingredients typical of his native Peru with him. Tumbo fruit and chonta palm shoots as well as some silvery arcilla chaco clay made the cut, before he flew to Buenos Aires to cook a one-off dinner.
Astrid y Gastón came in at #1 and D.O.M. at #2 at the initial edition of the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant List, even though D.O.M. ranked considerably higher on the World’s Best list a few months ago. Comparing those restaurants is difficult. Pujol was at #3 and Central at #4. In my opinion any of those four restaurants could be #1 on any given day. With the top ten there was little argument – some might say one restaurant should up or down a spot or two – but the rest of the list was where there were some oddities.
After traveling in Colombia last year I was hooked on the country’s beautiful landscape, happy and hope filled people, and fresh and flavorful cuisine that very well could be the next worldwide dining trend. While there is a surprisingly large Colombian community in Buenos Aires, the city offers limited options for Colombian… Read More →
After naming the grill master and author of the book Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way the executive chef of Siete Fuegos, the restaurant at the Vines Resort & Spa in the Uco Valley, Vines took the famed chef on a whirlwind tour of several US cities to celebrate with a menu of grilled sweetbreads, five hour rib eye, skirt steak, and a salt crusted salmon infiernillo with aioli. Everything was paired with Recuerdo Wines, now available in the US, which are produced at the Vines of Mendoza’s vineyards.
Every few months twelve rising star chefs from around Argentina get together. They discuss ingredients and gauchos, wine and sustainability. Most importantly they cook. The alliance of young chefs, called GAJO (Gastronomía Argentina Joven), intends to elevate Argentinean cuisine beyond beef. They do this by educating producers, chefs, and waiters so that as a unit they can ensure high quality food and reasonable prices in every part of the country.
Most of the time straying away from traditional Argentine food in Buenos Aires is not a good decision. While the Argentines have essentially perfected the art of preparing meat, getting good international cuisine in Buenos Aires can sometimes be frustrating for foreigners that grew up with a wide variety of foods. In recent years the trend of puerta cerrada (closed door) restaurants has swept through Buenos Aires garnering international media attention. As a resident of the city, many of them are exciting as they feature unique and innovative cuisines.
Getting to grips with Argentina’s booming wine industry, without leaving the capital
I love the sound of an Argentine barbecue. It’s gentle and unhurried; a sizzle here and there as another goblet of fat falls onto the coals and if you lean in close you can hear a slight crackle and pop (yes, like the breakfast cereal, just sparser, and crisper), the sound of meat slowly searing to perfection.
The Argentine asado is a true wonder, a celebration of fire seared bovine flesh, an orgiastic festival of the consumption of cow, a glorious litany of … I could go on… excessive description comes easy when dealing with a fine asado.
No asado, however, is complete without a good chimichurri, an intensely flavoured salsa good for a chorripan or as a relish for your meat. To really impress your argentine guests, have a jar of berenjenas a la escabeche stading on the table. The berenjenas (eggplant / brinjal) are cooked and bottled in a pickling brine (escabeche) and are excellent with bread as an accompaniment to the salami and cheese tabla as well as with your meat. The flavours of both improve with time – particularly the berenjenas should be stored for a few months before tucking in.
When one thinks of Argentina three things immediately come to mind – beef, tango, and soccer! Argentina excels in all these areas and they continue to be deeply integrated into the culture and daily life. As someone that has lived in Buenos Aires since 2007, I’ve had the opportunity to experience them all, but being extremely interested in food and cooking, the customs that surround preparing and serving beef have intrigued me the most.