About the restaurant: Already occupying the No.5 spot in Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants 2022, El Chato also finds its way into The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 for the first time, debuting at No.33. The contemporary Colombian bistro, led by chef Álvaro Clavijo, pays homage to the producers it works with and applies global techniques to highlight local ingredients.
Who’s in the kitchen? Álvaro Clavijo was born and raised in Colombia, but it was in Paris that he discovered his passion for the kitchen: he started out as a dishwasher and worked his way up to become the recognised chef he is today. During the time away from his homeland, he explored Europe and the US, working at renowned restaurants such as Per Se, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Noma. He returned to Bogotá and used his savings to open El Chato in 2017.
What’s on the menu? Committed to redefining local flavours, Clavijo routinely explores his country looking for new produce to include on El Chato’s à la carte and tasting menus. Keeping seasonality front of mind, he creates delightful courses that enhance Colombian ingredients, such as yucca arepa; chicken hearts with candied native potato and Caribbean cream; mussels with coconut rice; or Paletero beef with ‘culona’ ants béarnaise. Native products are also prominent in the varied cocktail menu, with sweet and sour options.
The magic is in the ingredients: Inspired by the flavours of his country, Clavijo has been working with small producers since the beginning. The relationships he has built are so strong that he not only adapts the menu according to what they harvest, but has also introduced them to new ingredients that they now grow for him.