September 1st, 2015. I was invited to a nice event at Grand Ballroom Grand Hyatt Hotel Jakarta for “Flavors of Chile.” It’s really an honour for me to be invited here. Chile, South America country, has a population of 18 million people. It has become one of the most important stakeholders in the food industry in the world. This country has even managed to establish itself as one of the few countries in the world with food sector contributes more than 10 percent of gross domestic product.
When I came to the event, I only spotted some people that I knew from my food journey. Other than that, I didn’t really know the people. But after the event, I got new friends. That’s what I like about coming to an event like this.
FLAVORS OF CHILE
I will tell you a little bit about Chile.
Chile has comparative and competitive advantages that allow it to produce food whose quality stands out from its competitors. The quality of the food supply produced in Chile has achieved remarkable recognition according to the latest Global Food Security Index 2014 prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which placed the country as the leader in Latin America. Chile is currently developing new products with higher added value oriented to niche markets, among which include gourmet products such as olive oil, seafood delicatessen, and flavoured mineral waters, jams, wine jellies, dehydrated berries and native potato, some types of honey, premium wines, pisco and microbrews.
In recent years, Chile has emerged as one of the most important stakeholders in the food industry worldwide, hoping to be among the top 10 exporters in this sector by 2020 (currently 16th) and also to establishing itself as one of the few countries in the world where food sector has a high share of GDP, more than 10% , after New Zealand and Belgium. In addition, Chile stands out worldwide as the largest exporter of blueberries, grapes, plums, prunes, dried apples, trout and Pacific salmon, second largest supplier of avocados, fresh cherries, frozen raspberries, walnuts and Atlantic salmon, besides having a renowned position for our wines and other products such as extra virgin olive oil, mineral water, pisco and dried fruits, among others, which make up part of the wide diversity of our exports which also include functional foods.
Foods from Chile: Source of Life
is the new world line for the international promotion of the food sector that remarks the transversal characteristics of the products coming from this country. Under the origin concept, 5 characteristic attributes are remarked: Quality, Harnessless, International Guarantee and Natural taste; all agreed with the Food Exports Counsel of the Ministry of Agriculture.
FOODS: quality food, harmless, traceable, with international guarantee and Natural taste.
FROM: Unique and pure nature from where they come. Protected by a phytosanitary island.
CHILE: From our people, from our identity, present on all processes and developing technology to improve them
Objective: With this initiative we look to make the Chilean foods closer to local gastronomy of each of the countries on which activities of Chile are made. Also, it seeks to reach producers, the Family Country Agriculture, on where the origin of the Chilean food offer is, that the world appreciates, chooses and enjoys.
They served appetizers before dinner. The servers walked around us offering the food and drinks. The food and drinks were delicious but I didn’t try all of them, just the skewers clams in green sauce. It was amazingly delicious. But, I was too uptight, I couldn’t eat much.
Skewers clams in Green Sauce
Water of Chilean Salad
Chilean abalone with mayonnaise mermen
Casillero del Diablo, Pino Noir 2013, Casablanca Valley- Rapel Valley, Concha y Toro Vineyard.
After some canapés, we were told to go inside the ballroom where the dinner will be served. The ballroom was huge. We were in table 24. We met some new people. So fun.
Salmon crudo and shellfish
Remember that I didn’t like avocado? But, this avocado gel was quite interesting. It’s delicate, but quite solid, and there’s a lemon flavour in it. So, it tasted not like avocado. LOL. Btw, I just found out that Crudo means raw. But the salmon crudo was very fresh. I really love it. I ate it the salmon crudo mixed with the avocado gel. It’s very delicious. And I finished it in a flash.
La Joya Gran Reserve 2014, Sauvignon Blanc, Colchagua Valley, Bisquertt Vineyard
This crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc has notes of grapefruit, lemon, gooseberry and a subtle hint of melon on the palate. This is an excellent everyday value for Chilean wine fans.
First Main Dish
Salmon sealed with orange’s salt, citrus sauce, and baby onions caramelized with dried plums
The salmon was very tender and delicate. And I could taste the orange’s salt and the citrusy from the sauce. The presentation was very lovely. I love how they added dill leaves and the butterfly pea flower in this dish. So beautiful and tantalizing. My favourite!
Chardonnay 2014, Loncomilla Valley, Cremaschi Furlotti Single Vineyard
Cremaschi Furlotti Single Vineyard Chardonnay has an intense fruity character well balanced with the oak aeging. Delicious vanilla aromas combined with caramel and pineapple notes. On the palate it displays the natural freshness of the fruit with the weight and creaminess of the oak barrels.
Second Main Dish
Chilean seabass, peas puree, shellfish’s sofrito with “merken” and black potatoes
Sea Bass is a very mild flavoured fish. This Chilean seabass was very delightful. Perfect texture and perfect taste. They mixed the shellfish with sofrito and merken. I also loved the texture of their peas puree. It’s just superb. The black potatoes were very unique. Of course it was black because of squid ink. It tasted delicious too.
Chilean Sea Bass is a wonderfully flavored fish with a high oil content which keeps it moist during cooking. Chilean Sea Bass has a fabulous taste and an almost sinful mouthfeel. Its high fat content gives it a rich, moist, tender flavor profile which melts in your mouth.
Merkén or merquén is a smoked chili pepper used as a condiment that is often combined with other ingredients when in ground form. Merkén is a traditional condiment in Mapuche cuisine in Chile.
Sofrito or refogado is a sauce used as a base in Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American cooking. Preparations may vary, but it typically consists of aromatic ingredients cut into small pieces and sauteed or braised in cooking oil.
Koyle Costa Pinot Noir 2013, Paredones, Colchagua Cost, Vina Koyle
This complex wine has a bright red color. It strikes the right balance between freshness and intense richness. Herbal and cassis aromas and flavors intermingle with bright acids and firm tannins that are well-integrated. This wine is approachable now but can be cellared for up to ten years.
Apple sorbet, grapes gel, soil of almond and walnut, cherries
I didn’t like apple. So when it came to apple, I always tried to mix the apple with anything that will make me like it. In this dessert, I tried to mix the apple sorbet with grapes gel and cherries. Surprisingly, those cherries were very sweet and delicious. Love it.
Maridaje Late harvest
Fruity and sweet taste complemented with a touch of acidity making it a very pleasant and long finish.
Introducing Chef Francisco Javier Araya
And, this was the man behind those delicious food.
Francisco’s cuisine is influenced by his training and experience in Spain, Japan and his native Chile. After graduating from culinary school in Chile, Francisco worked at Alma in Santiago before training at Andoni Luis Aduriz’s Mugaritz in Spain. In 2007, he returned to Santiago and joined the team at Boragó in Santiago as head chef and creative director for I&D (Innovation and Development), building on the concept developed by Rodolfo Guzman. Francisco created dishes using ingredients indigenous to Chile.
In 2008, he returned to Spain to spend a season at the legendary elBulli under the direction of Ferran Adrià. Francisco’s foundation for avant-garde cuisine was developed here and has worked its way into his culinary style. Upon his return to Santiago, Francisco worked as executive chef of the Spanish Cultural Center. In 2012, he joined two fellow elBulli alumni to open 81 Restaurant in Tokyo where seasonal Japanese ingredients are integrated into Latin American cuisine. Opening to rave reviews with only 8 seats, 81 quickly became a sought after dining destination in the world’s food capital. It was awarded its first Michelin star in December 2013.
Thanks ProChile ASEAN for inviting me to this event. It’s really an honour for me. ¡Buena suerte.
ProChile ASEAN – Flavors of Chile
The City Tower Building
Jl. M. H. Thamrin 81