Colombia, Bogotá in particular, has become an important part of the South American culinary dialogue. With a wide variety of new restaurants concepts opening throughout the city, pop ups, events and food initiatives on the rise, as well as headline chefs winning prestigious international awards, Colombia has taken its place on the global stage.
One of the country’s pioneer events, the Bogotá Wine & Food (BWFF), which launched in 2011, continues to demonstrate the many ways that Colombian cuisine is both thriving and expanding. Promoting both local chefs and delicacies, it has also become a place for world chefs to embrace all that is Colombia and share their own cooking styles and platforms.
This year’s BWFF kicks off on August 30th, and through September 3rd will showcase the female talent in the country’s many kitchens. In addition to the many Colombian representatives in attendance and led by Colombia’s most visible chef, Leonor Espinosa, some well regarded international talents including Nancy Silverton (USA), Carolina Bazán (Chile) and Narda Lepes (Argentina) will also join the event schedule.
“I’m excited to be the first event in the region that gives space to the female talent in the food industry,” explains Gaeleen Quinn, founder of BWFF. “Luckily, Colombia has a great amount of talented female chefs, and we hope other women in Latin America will be inspired by them.”
Highlighting the breadth of ingredients and techniques found throughout the country, the festival will take inspiration from the international guest chefs’ impression of Colombia’s culinary scene. Arriving before the festival begins, the visiting chefs will visit specific Colombian regions of the country with the objective of familiarizing themselves with the local ingredients and culinary cultures emanating from within. Then, throughout the festival, the theme will continue with more than 20 chefs from different regions in Colombia sharing their culinary styles and local ingredients to festival-goers.
“I’m also excited about touring to different areas in Colombia with our international guests. Introducing them to our culture and our unique ingredients is essential in fostering Colombia’s culinary relationship with the world. On return, they’ll use that inspiration to create a festival dish with Colombian ingredients,” says Quinn.
The festival’s opening event, La Gran Degustación, will gather a group of talented women from Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla and Bogotá presenting dishes inspired by four Colombian regions: Amazonia y Orinoquia, Andino, Caribe and Islands, and the Pacific. A food tour of Colombia in one Bogotá space, the event will take place at the Seratta Gourmand Market.
Already sold out, the Cocina de Occidente event, which features guests Nancy Silverton, Carolina Bazán and Leonor Espinosa, takes diners on a journey of the flavors of their native lands — California, Chile, and Colombia, respectively. On Friday, September 1st, being held at the Hotel NH Collection in Teleport, Charlas de Expertas, aims to inspire culinary students and food aficionados through the stories of the featured chefs and festival cooks. Sunday’s Yoga y Sabor, a big open-air yoga class followed by culinary demonstrations and a delicious and healthy breakfast, will be held Zona T. And following the success of such events around the world, the 1000-ticket Burger Taste event will close the festivities and feature music, artisanal local beer and 10 chefs cooking their own version of a classic burger.
Like in years past, all ticket sales for marquee events are donated to the Escuela Taller de Bogota, a school that educates young people who were part of the country’s internal war and looking to start anew. You can learn more about the Bogotá Wine & Food Festival here. Tickets for BWFF are available at: www.tuboleta.com.