Chefs Mauro Colagreco, Virgilio Martinez and Jorge Vallejo team up for Latin America's Origenes project

Allie Lazar - 02/04/2015

Mauro Colagreco (Mirazur, France), Virgilio Martínez (Central, Peru), and Jorge Vallejo (Quintonil, Mexico) are uniting Latin American gastronomy in the quest to re-discover ancient ingredients. Buenos Aires food writer Allie Lazar went along to find out about the chefs' new project, Orígenes.

Orígenes, which translates to Origins in English, will take a look back at Latin America's ancestral roots to revive the ingredients and prehistoric cooking techniques of the land.

While the three world-renowned chefs have different culinary backgrounds and styles, they share a common ideology when it comes to the importance of terroir, ingredients, history, and legacy.

“The Americas are filled with richness and diversity,” Martínez told the audience at the Escuela de Arte Gastronómico in the Argentine capital. “We can really do something big to remember where our people come from.”

Image and video hosting by TinyPicMauro Colagreco (left) and Virgilio Martínez

The chefs plan to team up with other cooks, anthropologists, nutritionists and scientists to travel across Latin America’s pueblos, remote towns and small communities. “We want to find sustainable alternatives that will feed our people and recover native products,” said Vallejo. “With just one ingredient, we can change how we eat, and even, change the world.”

Orígenes begins its tour in Mexico and continues on to Peru and Argentina.

“We need to defend our culinary history,” Colagreco said. “This is a start in that direction.”

For more information on Orígenes, contact

Images: EAG_Escuela de Arte Gastronómico