Ljubljana, 18. 10. 2022
There are certain chefs whose dishes you recognize
almost immediately – they are so unique, have such a strong personal touch
where chef’s style really comes through. Rodolfo Guzman is at the very top of
those kind of chefs.
This is not Guzman’s first visit to Slovenia – it was
back in 2014 when he did a small collaboration with a group of young, promising
chefs and Ana Roš up at Nebesa chalets. Since the early morning there was a
column of smoke rising from Hiša Franko front porch – Rodolfo set up his own
little smoke pit to smoke porcini and other mushrooms he picked around Kobarid.
Wreaths of mushies, dangling from the strings attached to what looked like a
Medieval torture device. The visual was so striking one passerby accused him of
torturing innocent mushrooms.
That evening, smoked porcini carpaccio with pressed
edible flowers from Chile was served in the tiny dining room in Livek. On
another occasion, in Italy, he was doing a whole lamb, asador style, setting the
embers right in front of the hotel.
He is a chef with a capital C – a beautiful creative
mind with almost a feminine approach to plating and creating the dishes.
Beautiful art pieces on the plate, a whole wild world of his native Chile on
the plate. That’s Borago – a showcase of Chile, Guzman’s playground and his
culinary expression of his native land.
The chef considered among the top Latin American chefs and a regular
fixture on the 50 Best Restaurants list dedicates his time to discovering the
richness from the seas, forests, valleys and mountains of Chile, carefully
selecting what nature can provide at a given time. He is rediscovering the old
native ways of cooking and enriching them with the contemporary knowledge and
methods creating highly elaborate dishes.
Given how much thought he puts into his creations and
the kind of philosophical approach he takes, it won’t come as a surprise he
trained under the great Andoni Luis Aduriz at Mugaritz in Basque country.
As his passion for food grew, Rodolfo (43) became
deeply interested also in the relation between food, health and moods. He has
been an active participant in research teams comprised of neurologists,
psychologists, nutritionists, and other specialists, finding new ways of
approaching fine dining and gastronomy in general, let alone Chilean gastronomy
that remains more or less a mystery to the rest of the world.
Borago, opened in 2006, is in that way just as much a
laboratory, a creative hub as it is a top restaurant. And as it is considered
one of those bucket list destination restaurants is often the main reason for
visiting Santiago de Chile.
The beginnings were hard though and in the first few
years restaurant almost went bankrupt, locals not used to the avant-garde
Guzman was offering. Everything changed when Borago was listed one of Latin
America’s 50 Best restaurants with tables booked sometimes months in advance.
Times have indeed changed. But Rodolfo’s creativity well is far from exhausted.
After European Food Summit his next stop is a month long residency in Madrid
where he will take the same approach as in Borago – but with Spanish
Written by: Kaja Sajovic