Touch the wild in this visionary taste of the (very) deep south
Bora-what? Although borago in Spanish means borage, Boragó with an accent is a word invented by owner-chef Rodolfo Guzmán, reflecting his passion for creating dishes from lesser-known wild ingredients picked from all over Chile. Whilst a wild fruit or halophyte may not immediately taste delicious when taken from the ground, Guzmán says the beauty of Boragó is the ability to adapt and reinvent products into something special.
A forager, then? Perhaps the pre-eminent forager in Chile, in fact. The location of the Chilean capital offers chef Guzmán a highly diverse range of landscapes to hunt for unique ingredients, whether it be wandering the salt flats of the world’s highest desert, the Atacama, looking for native herbs or dodging waves and scrambling around the shoreline plucking sea asparagus from the briny rocks.
What’s his background? Working at Mugaritz in the Basque country was a revelation for Guzmán, who returned to Chile determined to open a restaurant that didn’t ape what was going on in Europe. Instead, it would turn to local traditions and ingredients, whether they be the indigenous seafood found off the nation’s vast coast, or the ancient culinary culture of the Mapuche people.
What about the food itself: Happily, these ingredients aren’t simply rare, they’re also very tasty, especially in Guzman’s hands. Get a load of conger eel with the sweet-onion taste of sea star flowers and beach dill, or the milk of cows, goats and donkeys in a radical take on the classic tres leches dessert.