Centurion: The Chef Scavenger

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 15.12.13Rooting out fruits on a craggy coastline beach, or herbs 3,500 metres above sea level in the Andes, might sound romantic, but this back-breaking work is necessary to source the wild ingredients that are the very essence of Santiago’s Boragó restaurant. “This isn’t anything new,” says chef and owner Rodolfo Guzman, who ranked eighth in Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in September. “We’ve been gathering produce like this ever since we opened seven years ago.”

Guzman, who trained with Andoni Luis Aduriz at Mugaritz, goes foraging twice a week with his cooks to sites within a 150-kilometre radius of Chile’s capital. Depending on what’s dwindling in Boragó’s larder, the outing will see the team head up into nearby mountains, rustle through pine forests or comb beaches for edible flowers, fungi or maritime radishes. These ingredients all feature in one of the 140 rotating dishes that form part of Endémica (“Indigenous”), Boragó’s tasting menu that only uses ingredients grown in or sourced from Chile.

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