Rattling the pans at his chic Santiago restaurant Boragó, Guzman creates magic with seasonal ingredients inspired by the wild landscapes of South America.
The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list says Boragó offers a sumptuous, ‘edge of the world’ dining experience (in reference to Chile’s place on the map).
“Theatre underpins every dish: small wine-soaked and lemon-coated Chilean pears come served on an actual bonsai tree, garnishes and sauces are scattered in an artful manner and crockery is largely forgotten as bite-sized morsels perch on polished wooden branches, smooth rocks and jagged stone slates.”
He’s currently in the country as an exclusive guest of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
Name: Rodolfo Guzman
Lives: Santiago, Chile
Who taught you to cook? My mother!
What do you do when you’re not cooking? Take care of my baby girls, one is two and a half years and the other one is 10 months old.
What is the first thing you remember cooking? Home made rose petal ice cream with my brother.
Favourite ingredient? It would be unfair just to choose one ingredient from all the available ones we have in Chile, but all of our wild fruits are worth mentioning!
What did you have for breakfast? Melon juice, tuna fruit (aka prickly pear), peach, toasted bread with avocado and a coffee.
Most memorable meal… ever? Mugaritz in Spain.
What are you drinking at the moment? Lots of water.
What is the heart of Chilean food? Smoke, specifically, Tepú, which it is an endemic tree in Chile. Whatever you smoke it with will get an amazing personality. Also smoke would definitely be a stamp of one of the important flavours in my country.
Bugs in cooking. Thoughts? They’re definitely not part of our Chilean culture, so I don’t use them in my kitchen. However, when I travel I always try to taste everything that culture has to offer.
Favourite South American fast food? I won’t call it fast food, but it’s very popular, because it’s easy to eat while on the go. I’d say clay oven empanadas.
Who inspires your cooking? Everyone around me who enjoy food, but mainly, my family.
What gets you excited about Australian cuisine? That I’m an ignorant in it. Everything is new and unknown, and that’s very, very exciting
Favourite Australian dish? I don’t know any, but I’m very excited about eating kangaroo
Any Australian chefs on your radar? Attica’s Ben Shewry. One of the coolest guys ever. Brae’s Dan Hunter and Quay’s Peter Gilmore seem very cool too. And I’m sure there are many more that I have yet to meet.
See Guzman at the Langham Chef Masterclass on March 8 and 9.