What is Ecuador doing for its gastronomy?
Well, since I studied culinary arts (2006 until 2011) I could see a lot of aspects, that made me realice how Ecuador was improving, and yes also getting stucked sometimes. Its really important to make a very deep analysis of how things have changed over here, so we can understand the process that we have been having this last century.
Well, culinary arts took place in Ecuador with the arrival of Fancy Hotels, is there where the head chefs were only “international chefs” they, were the only one who could make decissions in the kitchen, dishes, techniques, etc. and the assistants were only pretty young people who were with their minds open, just to learn, later these young assistants will become the first ecuadorian chefs in hotels and will also open their own restaurants, making the first gastronomical revolution in our country.
So, whats the scene in the 40’s until the 80’s? well that ! only international executive chefs, with just a few ecuadorian learners with lot to prove.
In the 90´s more and more “experienced” cooks were getting more recognizment in the country, and also in other contests, where the presence of Ecuador was getting bigger every time, by the chefs, not by ecuadorian food, cause yes, until here, as a country we didnt chefs that had a clear idea of what ecuadorian food really is, I mean, it was like an effect, they were taught by international chefs, they learnt international techniques and international dishes, so ECUADORIAN CHEFS DID NOT KNOW HOW TO COOK ECUADORIAN FOOD.
Sad but true, and there was a university who made the first step to kinda change this, UTE, created GASTRONOMY, as a carreer, and was the first university to offer a program, in which new enthusiasts, but non experienced people could learn how to cook, with the time other universities follow this model, like USFQ, UDLA, and 300 centers more yes, now there are more than 300 centers of culinary arts in Ecuador.
Now the idea was good, to educate people that liked this profession, to taught them, but sadly the majority of them did never get the experienced of the chefs who were then, the principal chefs in every hotel and restaurant, so the majority of students were just left aside for people who had experienced, so, GASTRONOMY STUDENTS KNEW HOW TO ADMINISTRATE A RESTAURANT, BUT THEY DID NOT KNOW HOW TO COOK. Besides the fact that each university started to think that they were the only option and the best one to follow.
A problem right?
So what happend from the 90’s until the 00´s, well the new enthusiast students, started to create their own business, since no one hired them, so that was an inspiration for all of them, to be in a way, more creative, where the could develop what they learnt, and get the experience by themselves, and as a beautiful consequence, there are now, more themed specialized places in the country, a beautiful variety.
Well, our neighboor is kinda famous, PERU, the succes that this country has achieved, has made us realized of how important our own cuisine really is, no matter if you are an old school or a millenial chef, the only thing that matters is to make it work.
Ecuador right now is getting a union of all the chefs, universities, so by doing that we are getting closed to really have a country where the gastronomy is a reason to visit it.
Next blog will be about the products and dishes that we have to offer.
With this post, I was thinking to also share some of the best musicians in Ecuador, just to show you a bit, how surprinsing Ecuadorians can be.
(a son that goes with changes)
Marley Muerto - Tren