Bolivia has an endless variety of local products that, in addition to showing their cultural identity, shows the strength and determination of their small producers.
Although products such as potatoes, corn or chili, among others, are typical of the American continent, the gastronomic shock suffered by South American cultures with food that came from the old continent generated a revolution of flavors and a new way of consuming the foods. The miscegenation and the transformation of flavors have given ways to the emergence of the typical dishes that we know today and that are the object of pride and admiration of own and strangers.
Even thoughof the fusion and miscegenation of flavors and spices, Bolivian cuisine is not excluded from modern food trends from Europe. At the end of the s. XIX, the modernization of gastronomy in Bolivia is positioned in the city of La Paz, the seat of government of Bolivia, where not only the powers of the state are concentrated, but also a gastronomic window of and for the world.
The recovery and use of native ingredients, grains, fruits, which are in the villages, in the countryside and which, in fact, were not used due to the predominance of foreign food, are now elements of inspiration and innovative work by young people, chefs.
Among the new initiatives that stand out in this new Bolivian gastronomic scenario, there are the Manq'a cooking schools.An initiative of ICCO Cooperation that since 2004until now has 7 schools in the city of El Alto, 3 in the Sucre city and replicas of the Bolivian model in Colombia and Central America.
Manq’a has trained 4,500 vulnerable young people ascooks, of whom 70% are women. Gastronomy has given them greater opportunities for personal and professional development, rescuing their knowledge and maintaining their identity and pride of being Bolivians.
Manq´a, in addition to being a sustainable project that articulates the job placement of these young people in the main restaurants and hotels in the sector, has promoted initiatives that intertwined innovation andfood heritage that lives in each of them as the main input.
In order to talk about sustainability within the actions of Manq´a, in 2019 the first social restaurant in Bolivia was inaugurated called: Manq´a Restaurante, with a unique gastronomic proposal that brings together the best of Bolivian products, innovation in the hands young talented chefs trained in their schools and a space that evokes a symbiosis between the cities of La Paz and El Alto.
The Restaurant has a menu that offers a trip that goes from the Andes, through a confit lamb cooked for 6 hours straight, passing through the Bolivian Amazon materialized in a surubí (river fish) crusted in unique grains such as chive; and ending in the valleys with an ice cream of garapiña (fermented corn with cinnamon ice cream).
The gastronomic proposal of Manq´a Restaurante reflects the traditions that are unique and inseparable from Bolivian food and table. Some proposals are inspired by street food full of flavor and tradition such as the anticucho (smoked beef heart served with dad). In addition, for Manq´a it is a great opportunity to include vegetarian food options since there are products such as chuquisaqueño mushrooms or fresh hearts of palm that allow exploring and preparing a proposal full of nutritional value that encourages the production of small local producers.
Gastronomy in Bolivia is undoubtedly one of the main reasons to visit this country, a link to meet its people and the perfect pretext to visit Manqa and its social restaurant.
Find out more about Manq'a:
La Paz - Bolivia:
(591) 75238893 – 70617359
Sucre - Bolivia:
Bogotá - Colombia:
(+57) 1 – 3002832