Hidden flavors, native ingredients and traditional recipes. This is what constitutes the kitchen of the Colombian Leonor Espinosa, who collected in London the recognition to the Best Female Chef in the World 2022from the influential list The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
His restaurant Leo, in a central neighborhood of Bogotavindicates the flavors of native cuisine, with indigenous, black and peasant roots, from a country that has been crossed by an armed conflict for more than half a century.
“My kitchen tastes like pain, but it also tastes like joy. My Colombia tastes like that unequal Colombia, but like that Colombia that also has the potential to be more equitable,” explains Espinosa.
For the Colombian, a good cook is also an anthropologist, political scientist and artist. For more than 15 years she has been exploring the deepest corners of Colombia, in search of human stories and diverse ethnic groups.
“I like to have the humility to recognize that a dish can evolve and that it doesn’t have a specific end, an end of time to say: it’s perfect and you have to remove it from the menu.”
In 2017 she was recognized as the Best Female Chef in Latin America. She created the Funleo Foundation in 2008, to support small producers and open spaces for education, nutrition and tourism in rural and forgotten communities, which won her the Basque Culinary World Prize for promoting improvements in the world through gastronomy.
Throughout the award ceremony, previously announced awards such as One To Watch were also given to AM by Alexandre Mazzia (Marseille, France), for his cuisine based on fish and vegetables that includes flavors inspired by African cuisine; Icon to Wawira Njiru, Food for Education (Nairobi).
Mexico, Spain and Peru among the best restaurants in the world
Although number 1 on the list The World’s 50 Best Restaurants It has been taken by the Danish Geranium, restaurants in Mexico, Spain and Peru did not end up far from the best.
Geranium (Copenhagen)Central (Lima)Disfrutar (Barcelona)Diverxo (Madrid)Pujol (Mexico City)Asador Etxebarri (Atxondo)
9. Quintonil (Mexico City)
11. Maido (Five)
In addition, Aponiente (Cádiz, Spain), has been recognized as the Best Sustainable Restaurant on the planet thanks to its innovative work in the marine environment and the use of unknown resources such as plankton or sea grain, and the new award for best sommelier has been for the Spaniard Josep Roca, from El Celler de Can Roca (Girona).
The Chef’s Choice award, voted for by chefs, has gone to Jorge Vallejo, from Quintonil (Mexico City), and the best pastry chef to Rene Frank, at the head of Coda, the only dessert restaurant in Germany.
This selection of restaurants is made based on the votes of 1,080 experts from around the world, including journalists, chefs and foodies from 27 geographical regions.