European Food Summit - The beautiful Mind of Rodolfo Guzman

The beautiful Mind of Rodolfo Guzman

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 ingredients.    

Written by: Kaja Sajovic