Marsia Taha and Mauricio López
Alligator escabeche with watermelon cask, strawberries, Tarija capers and seasonal flowers
Calacoto, Calle 10, Nº 300 casi Costanera, La Paz
+591 2 211 7491
Chief reason to visit: With Kamilla Seidler, Latin America's Best Female Chef in 2016, as advisor, new Bolivian head chefs Mauricio López and Marsia Taha produce naturalistic dishes in celebration of local ingredients. All food and beverages are 100% Bolivian.
A brief history: Noma co-founder Claus Meyer and his Melting Pot Foundation opened Gustu in 2013 with the intention of starting a new Bolivian gastronomic movement. Now the restaurant has become an independent company with a school inside its premises, many of its students being the chefs, bartenders, sommeliers and wait staff.
A few words on the chefs: Seidler set the foundation of Gustu with her powerful culinary talent – now the young and talented López and Taha are following in her mission to turn Gustu into a reference for Bolivian gastronomy.
Typical dishes: Amaranth and açaí caviar with Amazonian almond milk and malted wheat; native potatoes cooked in Tarija salt with sauco capers, sauce flowers and almonds; Amazonian fish stew and yucca.
What’s the dining space like? The house is a beautiful architectural achievement of functionality and style, with a high ceiling, solid wood elements and colourful lamps and furnishings.
What else? Venezuelan-born Michelangelo Cestari, who worked with Seidler at Mugaritz in Spain, now runs the business side of the operation.
What’s in the name? Gustu is the Quechua word for flavour.
Images: Patricio Crooker and Luis Fernandez