Cooking with altitude-Bolivia

A successful social project !

Who could believe that a high gourmet restaurant could succeed in one of the poorest country of South America, at La Paz the capital city of Bolivia. The restaurant has a main goal :
– Improving society through food and high-quality cooking.
– Preserving the food diversity by supporting the communities that cultivate it.

The success of this restaurant changed lot of things in Bolivia.
-Bolivian people are proud to have this restaurant that attract international medias. They believe in their country and their futures.
– Other gourmet and local restaurants tried to copy the success of Gustu by buying local products.

A restaurant, a school and research center

Gustu restaurant is not only a restaurant, it is also a school and a research center about latin food. Most of employees here are students and learn the importance of local and quality products. By creating unique and various dishes, the restaurant expects to highlight the incredible food diversity in Bolivia. In fact, this country has one of the most diverse agriculture & environment in the world: desert, mountains, altitude, amazonia.

Cooking at 3800m of altitude

Located at the capital city, La Paz and surrounded by the mountains, the gourmet Gustu restaurant needs to face constraints of the extreme of altitude. There are actually no references or books that show the potential of such of extreme cooking. It is only by experimentation, failure, and success that the cooks of the restaurant designed unique recipes.

In this environment,
– the air pressure is lower, so foods take longer to bake.
Temperatures and bake times need to be increased.
– Liquids evaporate faster, so amounts of flour, sugar and liquids may need to be changed to prevent batter that is too moist, dry or gummy.
– Gases expand more, so doughs rise faster. Leavening agents may need to be decreased.