When you think of avant-garde cuisine, Bolivia wouldn’t be the first place to come to mind. Often overshadowed by the foodie cultures of Argentina, Brazil, and Peru, Bolivian cuisine has yet to make a staple in the international food scene.
But that did not pose a threat to Danish gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer, who after founding one of the best restaurants in the world, Noma, set out to Bolivia to open Gustu and reinvent the Bolivian culinary experience. As the founder of the New Nordic Cuisine Movement, Meyer’s commitment to promoting the use of natural, seasonal foods that benefits from the region’s natural climate has led him to La Paz, where resources are plentiful and the opportunity to educate people his heathy, pure culinary method is peculiarly unique.
Gustu opened its doors in 2013, embodying an admirable practice of only using ingredients planted and farmed in Bolivia, enhancing the belief that Bolivia has the potential and the diversity to become a culinary destination.
Gustu’s dishes resemble works of art, emphasizing innovation in the service of extreme locavorism. The staff was chosen from a pool of 600 low-income families, almost none of whom had serious culinary experience before embarking on Gustu’s two-year training course.
Like the food, everything at Gustu is sourced from within the country, not leaving the design and decor behind. The Andean-inspired textile and simple atmosphere create an elevated educational atmosphere.
Unlike Noma, Gustu doesn’t have a three-month wait list. Almost underground in the culinary world, it is still remarkably low profile. Reservations are encouraged on weekends.