To dine at Boragó is to taste Chile. For chef-owner Rodolfo Guzmán, every dish is an opportunity to showcase one of the world’s largest endemic larders. From the nation’s 750 varieties of seaweed and halophytes to Boragó’s home-reared ducks and cows, the Santiago restaurant provides a stage for Chilean ingredients and the 200-plus people responsible for growing, rearing or foraging them, with sustainability and responsibility in the foreground.
When the doors opened 11 years ago, Guzmán hadn’t intended to create a sustainable restaurant, but a growing realisation of the raw materials available in Chile radically changed the way it operated. The chef now works with a wide array of different products from across the whole country – including ingredients that might have only a three-week season miles away in Patagonia – to create Endémica, an ever-changing menu based on Chile’s micro seasons that pairs the dishes with homemade organic wines and juices.
Boragó’s biodynamic farm, located just 30 minutes away from the restaurant, provides vegetables, milk and ducks for the kitchen, demonstrating the connection with the land and allowing it to genuinely deliver on the farm-to-fork ethos. Among the many unusual products that Guzmán works with is the chef’s own version of an espresso, made from the fruit of a tree called kirinka.
Eight years spent documenting the endemic ingredients used at the restaurant, from mushrooms to grapes and berries, meant that Guzmán and his team accumulated a unique knowledge about the country’s biodiversity, which they are now sharing with the world through Conectáz. The evolving online encyclopaedia is the first of its kind in Chile and it details where to find each ingredient, how to pick it and what to do with it in the kitchen.
Sustainability at Boragó stretches beyond the ingredients and the food. New staff get to spend time working on the farm, learning the tricks of the foraging trade as well as working in the restaurant’s test kitchen. The chefs’ uniforms and aprons are made from environmentally friendly materials that don’t need washing every day, and the tables in the minimalistic, sophisticated dining room are made from locally sourced lumber.
Guzmán has become a true ambassador of Chilean produce and his work is inspiring a new generation of chefs to value and experiment with the country’s outstanding natural offer in environmentally responsible ways, making Boragó a worthy winner of the inaugural Sustainable Restaurant Award at Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018.
Av. Nueva Costanera 3467
+56 2 2 953 8893
The Sustainable Restaurant Award is given to the restaurant with the highest environmental and social responsibility rating, as ranked by audit partner the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). All restaurants on the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list are invited to enter the award via self-nomination and each is assessed across three main pillars: sourcing, society and environment.