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High-mountain chefs meet in Andorra

A meeting between top chefs.

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High-mountain chefs meet in Andorra

A meeting between top chefs. Literal. Literal.

This will be the first time that haute cuisine focuses on mountain food as a source of authenticity, sustainability and local products. Vocento Gastronomia Grup GSR, Andorra Turisme came up with the idea to make Europe's most mountainous country a reference for high-altitude cooking. They plan to turn it into a venue that hosts talks, guided tours and activities for children, as well as a food fair over five days featuring regional products.

The event will not only help chefs around the globe learn more about Andorran gastronomy but also discuss its relationship with France and Spain. This first edition of Andorra Taste will pay tribute to Michel Bras' naturalist legacy. He will be visiting Andorra to receive an award for his work. Bras established a school using local herbs that he had just picked hours earlier. He also lightened creams and sauces in his recipes, advocating the strict seasonality that is today's dominant discourse.

The program of talks also gives a glimpse at what's happening in the Andes mountain range, which is on the other side. The Colombian Anibal Criollo has built a hotel, restaurant, and farm complex called Naturalia in Narino at an elevation of 2,500m. He fights for the preservation of traditional crops and biodiversity in the Colombian mountain ranges. The son of emigrants, Samuel Ortega from Ecuador, was trained in El Celler de Can Roca and raised in Spain. He returned to Ecuador in 1991 to open Shamuiko, a restaurant in the Andean region, Loja. Rodolfo Guzman from Chile, who was trained in Mugaritz and has one of the most sophisticated kitchens in Latin America at his Borago restaurant.

Flemming Schiott and Flemming Helbaek, a Danish chef and stylist and gastronomic writer, will also be passing through Andorra. They moved from Copenhagen in 2016 to a remote area of the Swedish forest. There they will cook with ingredients that were collected just a few meters away. Stedsans is his project and it's intended to be a "laboratory to discover new ways of living, eating, and connecting with the natural world". Ana Ros from Slovenia, who has made Hisa Franco one of Europe's most renowned gastronomic destinations, is another big name on the bill.

They will also be joined by a large number of Spanish and Andorran chefs, some with a restaurant within the Principality. Jordi Grau and Francis Paniego are the owners of the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Andorra (Ibaya) at the Sports Hotel Hermitage.

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