Food & Drink

  • Four Seasons Bar

    Four Seasons Bar "Polished Mahogany table"

  • Refreshing


  • The young generation of chefs is helping to fuel Latin America's food revolution

    The young generation of chefs is helping to fuel Latin America's food revolution

  • Sea food is never too far away!

    Sea food is never too far away!

  • Stunning Salad

    Stunning Salad

  • Andres Carne de Res, Colombia

    Andres Carne de Res, Colombia

  • Sweetcorn (Sun dried)

    Sweetcorn (Sun dried)

  • Exotic Andean juices: Lucuma (left) and Tree Tomato (right)

    Exotic Andean juices: Lucuma (left) and Tree Tomato (right)

  • Dehydrated potatoes for sale in an Andean market

    Dehydrated potatoes for sale in an Andean market

Latin America now boasts exciting creative culinary experiences as well as producing some world-class wines, coffee and chocolate.

Far from the typical view of Latin American food just being beans, rice and chilli, the region has a surprising diversity of cuisines stemming, in part, from its rich history of varied cultural influences. There are also a huge range of drinks – including fine wines, fiery spirits, luscious cocktails and exotic fruit juices. When you consider that in Colombia you get five countries for the price of one – Pacific Coast, Andes, Amazon, Eastern Plains and the Caribbean, it should come as no surprise that the richness and variety of ingredients is almost overwhelming.

Guinea Pigs cooking on an open fireGuinea Pigs cooking on an open fire Peru, with its unusual fusion of Andean, African, Chinese and Japanese cuisines, has for some time been regarded as one of the world’s great culinary destinations. Lima is now a must-visit foodie city, with restaurants such as Central, Rafael and Maido jostling for top position. Indeed, we have had some guests who made a major deviation to their itinerary just to spend one night in Lima to dine at Central at the start of their trip – they were not disappointed!

But time does not stand still and it is now Colombia, particularly Bogota, which in our opinion has grabbed the culinary destination prize. Leonor Espinoza put the city on the gastronomic map when she opened her eponymous “Restaurante Leo” in 2007, subsequently being nominated the best female chef in South America in 2017. The explosion in the number of top class restaurants in the last five years means that different areas can be identified by their restaurant offerings – Barrio Chapinero (locally known as the gastronomic zone) has Mesa Franca, Mini-mal and El Chato, La Magdalena and so on. Read Paul Richardson’s article “How I developed a taste for Colombia” in the Sunday Telegraph to get a full insight into the exciting gastronomic scene in Bogota and Medellin.

And don’t forget to try a Pisco Sour while you are there! Claimed in equal parts to be the national drink of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, it rivals Brazil’s caipirinha as a great way to kick off an evening! Read about the Pisco trail in this Financial Times article.

For something more down-to-earth, Argentina is world-renowned for its fabulous and ever-popular steaks and barbeques: with meat this good it is unsurprising that the country has the highest beef consumption per head of population in the world.

Brazil is better known for Caipirinhas and carnival than for its food, but is making huge strides to improve its offering. Sao Paulo is undoubtedly the culinary capital of the country, being home to some of the world’s best restaurants offering innovative and mouth-watering dishes (sometimes – but not always – at eye-watering prices). Feijoada is a well-known must-try dish here, while the Afro-Brazilian cuisine of Bahia brings us delicious dishes like Moqueca. Salvador is rapidly emerging as a new gastronomic centre with an emerging class of top chefs.

World-class wines

Argentina and Chile have both made a great name for themselves for their excellent wines. Mendoza, the centre of Argentina’s wine production, is dominated by the spectacular backdrop of the Andes. In the L’art de vivre Financial Times article Paul Richardson explores the vineyards in Mendoza. Off the beaten track in Salta Province, wine lovers who are not necessarily connoisseurs may be in for a pleasant surprise; here the vineyards are amongst the highest in the world but the dry sunny climate is particularly well suited to the distinctive Torrontes grape variety, producing a wonderfully fragrant dry white wine.

In Chile, the Colchagua Valley is considered to have some of the finest terroirs. Both destinations offer the visitor an excellent range of wineries and boutique hotels, as well as some of the country’s best restaurants, making them perfect gastronomic retreats.

Colombia is well known for its coffee – and the Coffee Region offers the chance to visit some delightful coffee plantations and see just how complicated the process of picking and preparing coffee can be. And neighbouring Ecuador is a chocolate-lovers paradise, producing some of the finest chocolate in the world. Be sure to include a stay at Hacienda La Danesa to stay at the very heart of cacao production.

You will certainly not go hungry or thirsty in Latin America. At Miraviva we are passionate about our food and drink. We can give you some ‘top tips’ for the latest ‘in’ restaurants and bars as well as where to try something completely different or very traditional. We can arrange visits to markets and cooking classes with top local chefs as part of your holiday – or can even focus your whole trip around the food and drink theme.

To discover more about the revolution in Latin American cuisine and its fine wines, give us a call or send us a message.

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