"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Travel
March 18, 2007

A Taste Of Chile

Last night we had a wonderful opportunity to taste some supurb Chilean food and wine at an event co-sponsered by Undurraga wines and the Trade Commission of Chile, at the Aberdeen Marina club. Chef Guillermo Rodr??guez Astorga prepared a fantastic degustation menu that evoked for me some wonderful memories, Octopus carpaccio with black olive sauce […]

Last night we had a wonderful opportunity to taste some supurb Chilean food and wine at an event co-sponsered by Undurraga wines and the Trade Commission of Chile, at the Aberdeen Marina club. Chef Guillermo Rodr??guez Astorga prepared a fantastic degustation menu that evoked for me some wonderful memories,

Octopus carpaccio with black olive sauce and scallop ceviche with cilantro
Chilean seabass, Pacific ocean seaweed, creole chilli sauce and fava bean puree
Stewed seafood casserole searved in earthenware pot with merquen cookie
Garden salade with native hazelnut vinaigrette
Chicken breast stuffed with king crab and seafood sauce
Baby lamb chops with rosemary juice and charquican
Melody of Chilean desserts – mote con heusillo, patelles de dulce de leche and lucuma ice cream

Each course was lovingly presented (with a closed-circuit link to the kitchen to keep us connected to the action) and complimented by selections from the Undurraga cellars. The pick of the wines was the 1999 Altazor Cabernet Sauvignon, which was rich and complex, followed by the ready to drink, oaky and American-styled Founder’s Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 and the light and refreshing Late Harvest 2004 dessert wine.

After the dinner I had a brief chat with the chef and thanked him not just for the food, but for the overall experience of the night. In a wonderfully Chilean turn of phrase he talked about how good food really is about taking the time to enjoy and reflect upon the good things life sometimes has to offer us.

For me, it was a memorable night and yet another reminder of how important food, custom and table memories can be to one’s sense of identity.

All of which is becoming an ever more clear and compelling issue in this life I live. Travelling around the world, it never ceases to amaze me how quick many people are to mock and ridicule the food that others will eat – how impatient the inhabitants of a place can be with visitors and new settlers who do not immediately adapt their foods and customs, or insist on clinging to the smells, tastes and sensations that shaped them and in times of transition bring them some comfort and feeling of security, some reminder of who they are.

For those of us who live “away from home” it is always a tighrope walk; on the one hand seeking to enjoiy the tastes of new places, to talk the culinary risks, whilst on the other hand wanting to retain some connection to our past, to the traditions that have shaped us.

Responses
John Smulo 16 years ago

Sounds like a wonderful time. I’m going to try more Chilean wines, I’ve heard they’re great. I’ve never been much of a seafood guy, but the menu sounds great.

Food provokes great memories for me of the places I’ve been Family members in Australia recently sent us lollies from there, which was nice.

Fernando Gros 16 years ago

Thanks for the comment John. It was a wonderful time.

Maybe we need more emerging bloggers commenting on food and identity?

Toni 16 years ago

Sat here at my friends (alien, French) keyboard after our first meal with them in 4 years I can say just how right you are, Fern.

paul 14 years ago

Hey Fernando,

Long time no talk. I have no idea if you’d even read this comment, as it’s nearly two years since you’ve made this post. I just came across it as part of my PhD data, and thought I’d comment.

Firstly, a few months ago I had the great opportunity to spend a week in Santiago. I fell head over heels in love with the city, and was really upset to leave. I told my friends there that once my PhD is finished I’ll be looking for work there, and asked them to scout teaching positions. My Spanish sucks, but I’m learning slowly.

Secondly, if you google Craig Mitchell or mountain masala you’ll find an emerging church blogger who has got fantastic recipes online.

Fernando Gros 14 years ago

Hey Paul.

It’s very interesting that you fell for Santiago so deeply. It’s certainly an amazing city, but it is so, so long since I have been there.

Thankfully Spanish, compared to other languages, relatively easy to learn.

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