The evening of this Wednesday, September the 23rd, was truly special for the team behind the Bolivian restaurant Gustu as its head chef Kamilla Seidler, received the applause of prominent chefs, food writers and industry professional from the entire continent when Gustu, once again, was voted among the best restaurants on the continent: 17th Best Restaurant in Latin America, growing up 15 positions from the 32nd place obtained in 2014.
Under the culinary leadership of Kamilla Seidler, Gustu, which opened its doors in April 2013, has developed an original culinary language that highlights the value and unique characteristics of native Bolivian products. Working exclusively with Bolivian produce, Gustu transforms it into vibrant and delicious dishes which attract the attention of an ever growing number of food lovers worldwide.
Since its beginning, Gustu has been a free learning and training center for young Bolivians (men and women aged between 18 and 28 years) from vulnerable sectors. In its 30 months long apprenticeship model, Gustu offers four specific lines of study: (1) Cooking, (2) Bakery and pastry, (3) Mixology and bar, and (4) Hospitality and beverage pairing. Students receive this professional training within Gustu’s restaurant facilities and have the opportunity to immediately put into practice what they have learned. In addition to that, the students complement their training at the School of Productivity and Competitiveness of the Catholic Bolivian University with a Diploma in Business Management, with a specialization in gastronomy. To this point 25 students have graduated, and all of them are successfully working.
“We see ourselves as an enzyme that is here to help unlock the true potential of the Bolivian food culture. We started out with the belief that delicioussness can be an instrument to change the world, we still very much believe so”, said Michelangelo Cestari, CEO of Gustu, last night at the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants event in Mexico City.
Gustu is part of a larger initiative launched in Bolivia in 2011 by the Melting Pot Foundation, established by Danish entrepreneur Claus Meyer, with the aim, through initiatives that have food, entrepreneurship and deliciousness as recurrent elements, to help vulnerable people get access to tools that can lift their families and communities out of poverty.
Gustu is slowly transitioning into a family of interconnected hospitality businesses, which support and encourage each other. Besides the fine dining restaurant itself, since 2015 Gustu is also a bar that offers elaborate snack and cocktail menus using exclusively Bolivian products.
With the aim of creating lasting economic improvements for the Bolivian society, the restaurant and its related businesses have a significant Corporate Social Responsibility program. Co-owned by Melting Pot/Melting Pot Bolivia and Danish Governmental Investment Fund (IFU) as a minority shareholder, the majority of the profits derived from Gustu and associated activities is donated or invested with a not for profit perspective.
Gustu was voted best restaurant in South America (2013 and 2014) through an open “readers vote” that evaluated restaurants, chefs, festivals and culinary events featured Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. In 2014, Gustu was voted the 32nd best restaurant in Latin América on the Restaurant Magazines “Worlds 50 Best Restaurant” list.
About The Melting Pot Foundation
With the objective, through initiatives that have food, deliciousness and entrepreneurship as recurrent elements, to improve future opportunities and the quality of life for disadvantaged people, Danish food entrepreneur, co-owner and co-founder of Noma, Claus Meyer established this not for profit organization in Denmark (2010), where the initiatives include a strategic alliance with the Danish prison service, where Melting Pot has developed a re-socialization program based on food schools in prisons, from where approximately 100 inmates have graduated as of September 2015. The foundation further runs a number of food related educational activities for kids.
Today, Melting Pot has activities in Denmark, Bolivia and the US: The foundation was established in Bolivia (2012) in a partnership with IBIS Denmark in order to launch a restaurant, a food movement and a culinary educational program in the country. In United States, Melting Pot will soon open a food school, a bakery and eatery in the vulnerable community of Brownsville in East New York.
Read more on www.meltingpotfoundation.org.
For more information:
Sumaya Prado: +591 75323901 firstname.lastname@example.org
- MELTING POT FOUNDATION:
Magnus Søgaard: +45 25102701/ email@example.com