The Claus Meyer effect
One of the most influential figures to discover Bolivia’s rich gastronomy – and bring it to the world’s attention – is legendary chef Claus Meyer. In 2013, the founder of Noma (named the world’s #1 restaurant several times) sought a new challenge. He was looking to open a restaurant in a country with biological diversity, where the cuisine had unrealised potential. Bolivia came in first place.
Meyer opened ‘Gustu’ restaurant in La Paz, showcasing indigenous Bolivian ingredients and heritage, as well as six culinary schools as part of his Melting Pot Foundation. The idea of Gustu was not to bring fancy dining to Bolivia. In fact, quite the opposite. The décor, design and name above the door belong to world-famous gastronomy, but the menu pays homage to the same ingredients and techniques you’ll find on the streets of La Paz or among the indigenous communities. Ingredients like ‘quirquina’ (Bolivian coriander), chillis, achiote, Uyuni salt, and our huge variety of starchy tubers like tunta and papalisa.