The other night, I was sitting on the third floor of WOK in the Zona Rosa, watching a film in their cinema room and meeting the part-owner of the company.
Yes…Food, film, wine, and inspiring company.
If you are follower of my Instagram photos, you will have realised that I LOVE WOK. It’s one of my favourite places to eat as I think the quality, range and price of the food are all outstanding and incomparable to anywhere in the UK….(Although, if push came to shove, I’d compare it to Wagamama…Well, for a start, they both sell Asian cuisine and use red stars in their logos). So meeting the owner was a dream come true.
They’ve just opened the third floor and expanded the restaurant to serve Japanese style cuisine on the top floor (with the lower two floors selling their usual wide menu). Whilst drinking Saki, my friend and I watched a documentary about the future of food. Yes, I was surrounded by foodies and glimpsed a peek into their restaurateur world, which I admire but could never do myself.
These folk are the pioneers of the Colombian restaurateur industry. They’re deeply involved in and proactively protect the quality, freshness and sustainable farming around Colombia, going to great lengths in their communications to tell you where the ingredients have come from in the country. For example, some of the fish they use come from the Pacific coast and is in the restaurant and on your plate in 24 hours.
After watching an unsettling documentary on GM farming, I am slightly concerned about what I eat now.
Hmmmmm…if you had known me a few years ago, you would never have thought I’d care about the environment. I was more concerned about having the perfect hair, newest handbag and latest fashion from Reiss. Now, I’m no hippie, but I’m learning to think twice about the environment and value of life.
This got me thinking. Colombia has loads of food at its fingertips. When I wrote my story on the farm in Fusa, a reader wrote in and advised me to go to the local market in the town. Turns out this is where my cousin buys his food for the household. So, one boiling hot Sunday, we piled into the car (all three generations) and disembarked in the crowded, bustling market town of Fusa.
My experiences with markets are this. I’ve been to Borough, I’ve worked near Portobello Market, I’ve seen local fruit vendors in Brixton, Wood Green and Chapel Market, Islington. But forget selling apple and pears, here you can find apples, pears, mango, papaya, fresh garlic, unrecognisable potatoes, and basically so many fruit and vegetables that I can only show you rather than reveal their names. To be honest, I was slightly bewildered and lost with the names of the food… I can recognise a lot but am no expert, so think it’s best if I just show you what I saw, so you can see for yourself:
Apparently Fusa is a main market town whose economy was historically based on agricultural marketing. In the market, you can buy produce by the handful i.e. a handful of beans etc. or $2 mil pesos of bananas.
This makes the pounds to kilogram conversion easy then.
There is something quite satisfying about buying food straight from people who grow or sell directly from the farmers. It puts large supermarkets in the long forgotten memory. My chief friend said to me at the end of the documentary that every organic / non GM food purchase in a supermarket is a vote.
The following day, I bought my first organic pasta and tomato sauce.
Colombia has so many natural resources, I want to show you and enjoy them all.