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Bjorn Frantzen and Daniel Lindeberg Presenting at the StarChefs ICC in 2011
Just two days after being proclaimed the twelfth best restaurant in the world on the controversial San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list as Frantzen/Lindeberg, Bjorn Frantzen and Daniel Lindeberg have announced they are splitting up with Frantzen retaining control of the eponymous restaurant and Lindeberg setting off to open a small bakery in Nacka, Sweden by the end of the year. The split is reportedly amicable and was said to have been in the works for some time. The change is effective today.
“We have had enormous fun over the years. We have created this restaurant together and our
paths will surely cross again in the future,” - Bjorn Frantzen.
“It has been five absolutely amazing years. But in the immediate future I want to put all the
focus on finding a small bakery in Nacka, with the ambition to open sometimes around the
end of 2013. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone who has worked,
been guests or otherwise been engaged in Frantzen/Lindeberg’s amazing journey,. I wish
Björn and the team all the luck in the future!” - Daniel Lindeberg
The old saying is “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” That can also be applied to restaurants – at least some times. Left entirely to my own devices, I have to admit its highly unlikely that I would ever have chosen to walk (or drive) into Ranch Doña Maria, a small hovel of a restaurant off a highway outside of Santiago, Chile. On first look, the setting wasn’t particularly attractive, there were few customers and let’s just say that it is unlikely that the NYC Department of Health would award it an “A” rating. However, not having gone and eaten there would definitely have been my loss. Continue reading →
The day started with a tour and a rousing breakfast at two of Santiago’s main food markets, but that was only the beginning of an epic day of eating some of the best food to be had in Chile (or anywhere for that matter). One of Chile’s finest chefs, Tomás Olivera Leiva took Bonjwing Lee and myself on the market tours. I love food markets. They tell so much about a place and these markets spoke volumes about the gastronomic wonders of Chile. Chef Olivera had other duties to attend to and after our market visit, he handed us over to Raul Yañez Campos, one of Chile’s top culinary enthusiasts, writers and critics to lead us to some of the most interesting and best food spots in and around Santiago. With his own blog, Criticas Gastronomicas, Campos, we discovered, was very well suited for the role. Continue reading →
No, not the pharmaceutical product. At Marisqueria Bahamondez in the Mercado Central in Santiago, their version of “Viagra” is a collection of the juices of the various shellfish that they cook at their small stall in the back recesses of the market. Mixed with a bit of lemon juice, it was indeed invigorating and rather delicious. So were their freshly shucked clams and pico rocos (giant barnacles unlike any elsewhere in the world) cooked in a light broth.
My friend, Bonjwing Lee and I were taken on a tour of both EL Mercado Central and the nearby Mercado de La Vega Chica by Tomas Olivera Leiva, the Chef at the noteworthy Santiago Restaurant Casa Mar. Here is a slideshow of the rest of our visit.
Thus began an incredible day of food and eating in Chile.
Chile’s neighboring country of Peru has long been known for the seemingly infinite variety of native ingredients, many of which have been adopted and adapted by other cultures as part of the Columbian Exchange, in which products from the Americas like tomatoes, potatoes, chiles, chocolate and more were exported to other parts of the world and products from elsewhere like pigs, cattle, beans, grapes and various fruits and vegetables were brought to the Americas. For whatever reasons, Chile has largely avoided a reputation as a producer of endemic products and its economy has thrived as a producer of products primarily from the European tradition including some that originally came from the Americas. Indeed, my trip to Chile was sponsored in part by ProChile, an organization set up to promote Chilean agricultural exports and the vast majority of the food that we ate during the trip came from that tradition. My dinner at Boragó was not part of that trip. The truth is that with Chile’s extended length over a wide variety of climes, a coastline listed as fifth longest in the world and a width of only 265 miles at its widest point that incorporates the western Andes and the coastal mountain ranges, it can’t help but have incredible biodiversity, only a fraction of which is currently taken advantage of. I first got wind of this relatively dormant culinary cornucopia at the 2011 StarChefs ICC during the fascinating presentation of Rodolfo Guzman, the former professional competitive water skier turned world class chef, who elaborated on his vision of Chilean cuisine to utilize this untapped wealth. I was hooked and needed to experience Boragó and Chile for myself. Continue reading →
I bought a couple of whole red snappers for the grill yesterday and received a surprise when I was cleaning one of them out. Nestled between the big fish’s mouth and stomach was a whole, partially digested little fish. It looks as if the snapper was caught while partaking in its last meal.
Now this is exciting! The Cultured Pickle is likely the foremost producer and purveyor of artisanal fermented products in the United States and now they have created a blog. This will be epic, educational and most of all fun!
Oxalis, strawberries, parsley, radishes and even samphire are hardly exotic elements of the pantry, unless they come from the Chilean coast. Here they relate to their cousins with similar names via taste, but they are decidedly different in terms of color and texture and in some cases are akin only in flavor. When I arrived in Chile over a week ago, I was welcomed by Chef Rodolfo Guzman, two of his sous chefs – Sergio Meza and Tommy de Olarte – and my friend Bonjwing Lee, who arrived a couple of days earlier. Once I settled into my hotel, I was invited to join Chef Guzman, Olarte and Bonjwing Lee on a foraging trek along the Chilean coast before the evening’s service at Boragó. I accepted the offer with excitement and I was glad that I did. The trek to the shore was longer than I expected, but the payoff was huge. It was a beautiful, rocky and treacherous setting, but it was rich with the kinds of coastal plants that Chef Guzman was looking for. Continue reading →
Chile, the country, first came to my attention a couple of years ago when I saw Rodolfo Guzman of the Santiago restaurant Boragó speak at the StarChefs ICC. His presentation which featured ingredients indigenous to the country and totally unknown to me, fascinated and inspired. His dishes were beautiful and stirred my imagination. This appetite was further stoked last summer when I was able to taste a dish of Guzman’s and saw another, different presentation at the first ever Mesamerica Congress in Mexico City. Getting to Chile became a personal priority. My wish came true when I was invited on a media trip to Chile sponsored by ProChile, a government sponsored organization put together to promote the country’s exports and organized by Imagen de Chile, the foundation responsible for promoting the country’s image internationally. This was all done through a campaign called Foods From Chile. Continue reading →
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