Kamilla Seidler, head chef of the restaurant Gustu (La Paz, Bolivia)
Kamilla Seidler. Photo: courtesy of Gustu
I was listening to Kamilla’s story at Parabere Forum in Bilbao and was fascinated by what she and her team have developed in such a short time.
Kamilla Seidler is the head chef at Gustu, the restaurant project by Claus Meyer, who founded also Noma. Gustu was created in 2012 to repeat the success of Noma in another part of the world with different people and different ingredients.
Gustu is a restaurant and a cooking school which was meant to inspire a new generation of Bolivians. Another aim is to emphasize the link between producers and plate applying the “0 kilometer” philosophy: working exclusively with ingredients planted, raised, grown and processed entirely in Bolivia. This is opening up a world of opportunities through improving living conditions for farmers in this landlocked South American nation as also for culinary innovation.
In 2013 was Claus interviewed by the Guardian and explained why he chose Bolivia: “If you have access to a large diversity of products, unknown to foodies, then you have a strong chance of coming up with something that could have global interest. Bolivia may have the most interesting and unexplored biodiversity in the world. If we succeed, this will mean more to the Bolivian nation than Noma and new Nordic cuisine has meant to anyone.”
And they succeeded. Also because of Kamilla, the passionate, determinate, energic lady who is a great team leader and an extremely talented and inspiring chef. Kamilla, who was born in Copenhagen, successfully finished the Hotel & Restaurant school in her city and gained a wealth of experiences in the restaurants like Mugaritz, Manoir Aux ‘Quat Saisons, Paustian and Geist where she always stood out for her professionalism and perfectionism. Gustu is listed between 50 best restaurants in Latin America and is a new destination for the foodies from all the world. Kamilla talks to us about chocolate.
Chocolate dessert from Gustu. Photo: courtesy of Gusto
What does chocolate mean for you?
Chocolate is one of the most luxurious ingredient to work with in a kitchen. The process of perfection and the diverse uses are incredible.
Why have you chosen this dessert? What is in your opinion so special about it?
This is our newest chocolate dessert and its my favourite. Its a new edition, more perfected. It has a touch of childhood memories for me which makes me happy when i try it :)
Please describe your dessert – tell us about the flavours, temperatures and textures that describe this dessert.
This dessert contains a super fluffy chocolate cake, feeling like a warm cloud with Bolivian coffee. It gives it a touch without being a coffee dessert. It has a cacao sorbet which because of its density seems like a mousse and not a cold, cold ice-cream. A chocolate ganache on the bottom and caramelised cacao grains. A little crunch to lift it up.
What inspired you to create it? How was it born?
We wanted to do a chocolate dessert that gives you the feeling of curling up under a blanket and joy. Creamy, soft, fluffy but not too heavy. Playing with textures, even though most are soft they are different soft. A ganache is creamy and stays in the mouth longer than the cake, that’s fluffy. Then sorbet is cold but not extreme. We thought it would work on paper and it did.
Does it require any special technique?
A steam oven.
What was the special challenge with it?
Not getting it too heavy.
Any final message for our readers?
Buy good chocolate and ask where its from. A cacao producer should be able to afford chocolate as well.
Discover the Bolivian cuisine at http://restaurantgustu.com
Kamilla with her team. Photo: courtesy of Gusto