In a nutshell: Claus Meyer, co-founder of five-time World’s 50 Best Restaurants No.1 Noma, opened Gustu in the centre of La Paz in 2013. Chef Marsia Taha is now at the helm of the kitchen, having risen quickly through the ranks to head chef. With her exclusive use of endemic produce, Gustu has become a forerunner of the Bolivian culinary revival and is this year ranked The Best Restaurant in Bolivia 2022.
What to order? Diners journey across the incredibly biodiverse Bolivian landscape in just a few mouthfuls. The à la carte offers a taste of earth, land and sea: try the Amazonian potatoes with heart of palm and k’allu (traditional Bolivian salad); arapaima fish with isaño (a radish-like tuber); or lamb with payuje (a sweet, banana-based drink).
And for dessert: Those with a sweet tooth will need to save room for the final course. True to form, the menu offers a selection of Bolivian-inspired favourites: llullucha (an edible dark-green bacteria) with peanut ice cream, marshmallow and acai, and thayacha, a sweet tuber native to the Andes.
What makes it special? Taha’s thirst for knowledge and culinary innovation. Gustu leads research trips into far-flung regions of Bolivia, aiming to identify new endemic species, showcase unknown produce and develop relationships with small-scale producers across the country.
Beyond the restaurant: Gustu now offers a Green Box, which can be sent directly to your door. Packed with different produce (including a crackly loaf of homemade sourdough bread) and a new recipe each week, the Green Box is Gustu’s solution to sharing knowledge and appreciation of local produce.