Quito, Ecuador

50Best Accolades
  • The Best Restaurant in Ecuador 2020

Boundless creativity applied to Ecuadorian ingredients


On the Pass

Alejandro Chamorro

Pastry Chef

Pía Salazar

What it's all about: Within a gastronomic culture that is beginning to take hold in Latin America, Nuema stands out. Recovering the roots of the most beloved Ecuadorian traditions, it injects them with creativity and conveys the experience to a contemporary table where the product shines. The biodiversity of this fertile country is reviewed daily by the chefs, following the rhythm of the seasons and in accordance with traceability. The resulting changes are entertaining, the techniques well-managed and the ingredient is respected in quality and aesthetics, expressing the best of itself.

About the chef: Alejandro Chamorro studied at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. His desire to learn led him to Noma in Denmark, then to La Mar and Astrid y Gastón in Peru. His search for his own style places Nuema among the restaurants setting a new standard in world cuisine, weaving together ancestral stories and endemic products and showcasing new ways of cooking.

On the menu: The tasting menu starts with seven courses but can go up to 15 if the diner wishes. The pandemic has made it possible to order some dishes à la carte, which capture the senses with – for instance – a 48-hour-cooked suckling pig with crispy skin and seasonal sides. It might be served with textured mashuas or something more uplifting, like a reduction of nea pia (tucupi, from the Ecuadorian Amazon).

Sweet tooth: One dessert has stayed on the menu since the start – a turrón inspired by traditional sweet from Cuenca, the hometown of Pía Salazar, Chamorro’s wife and Nuema’s head pastry chef. It consists of two wafers filled with rice pudding and converted into nougat, with salted and dehydrated crunchy peas replacing the traditional dried fruit, and served with a moringa (drumstick tree) and honey ice cream and seasonal apples.

To drink: The food philosophy translates into the restaurant’s mixology, which uses only three ingredients per cocktail, such as rose syrup from the garden with chawar (distilled spirit from Andean agave) and tonic. There are also Ecuadorian natural wines and Latin American bottles.