TASTING THE SKY

TASTING THE SKY
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Michael Lei

After taking the gastronomical world by storm, Danish chef Claus Meyer of NOMA (current “Best Restaurant in the World”) turned heads when he announced his next project would be unfolding in South America’s poorest country: Bolivia.

Based on a set of specific criteria (low income, high poverty, political stability and biological diversity), Meyer and his team set out to help a nation on the cusp of greatness find its culinary identity. Utilizing only flavors and ingredients indigenous to Bolivia and staffed almost entirely by youths from the country’s low-income villages; the resulting restaurant, Gustu, opened its doors last year and has been garnering attention not only for introducing the world to an exotic new cuisine but also for offering a young generation of Bolivians the chance at a better future.

The Melting Pot will follow head chef Kamilla Siedler, her students, and their incredible journey as they contend with the challenges of opening a world-class restaurant in a developing country. From the scientific struggles of cooking at altitude (La Paz sits at 15,000 feet above sea level) to gaining the trust of local farmers to helping the students balance the hardships of home life with the pressures of the program- Kamilla and her students have overcome the impossible and are soon unveiling the fruits of their labor at Bolivia’s annual international food festival in November.

With its vast wealth of natural resources (including fifty percent of the world’s lithium) to a plethora of natural wonders waiting to be discovered, Bolivia is a nation climbing out of turmoil and The Melting Pot will explore Bolivian cuisine’s place in this transformation. The film will examine the role food plays in a nation’s traditions and cultural identity, and how Gustu is helping to shape Bolivia’s bright future that lies ahead.

 

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