First ever weekend-long food festival in London will celebrate Colombian food and travel with a range of fun and educational activities designed to whet UK travellers’ appetites
The Colombian Embassy and tourism promotion body PROCOLOMBIA are to hold a weekend of gastronomic celebrations in London on Friday 21 and Saturday 22 November 2014 aimed at highlighting the strength and depth of the country’s cuisine.
Highlights of the Colombian Gastronomic Festival include a free gourmet event being held from 12pm-9pm on Saturday 22 November at OXO2, on the second floor of the OXO Tower on London’s Southbank. During the event members of the public will be able to taste all manner of classic Colombian dishes prepared by celebrated Colombian chefs and sample Colombian products such as coffee and native fruits. In addition, 19 different Colombian restaurants based in London will be at OXO2 selling delicious Colombian dishes such as Bandeja Paisa, priced from just £3. (www.oxo2.co.uk)
Attendees will also be able to enjoy some typical Colombian music and entertainment and drop by the stand of the tourism board, which has just changed its name from Proexport Colombia to PROCOLOMBIA as part of a rebranding exercise, to find out about the country’s other strengths as a tourist destination besides its cuisine, including the cultural and natural wonders featured in the tourism board’s Colombia is Magical Realism campaign.
Other events being held as part of the London-based festival include a ‘Culinary Masterclass’ for tour operators and representatives of the UK media on Friday 21 November. This select event, which will be held at the residence of the Ambassador of Colombia to the UK, in London’s Chester Square, will see the participants put their cooking skills to the test as they prepare a variety of classic Colombian dishes such as Ajiaco soup and Posta Negra con Arroz con Coco – a beef dish served with coconut rice – under the watchful eyes of renowned Colombian chefs Diana Garcia and Juanita Umaña.
Sampling the rich and varied cuisine has always been a highlight of visiting Colombia but increasingly it is being seen as one of the main reasons for travelling to the country, and the good news for British bon viveurs and galloping gourmets is that the country is now more accessible than ever.
Indeed, with this summer having seen national carrier Avianca launch the first direct flights from London to the capital Bogotá this summer, aided by KLM and TAP announcing new indirect London-Bogotá services, there’s never been a better time to follow in the footsteps of HRH Prince Charles and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, who travelled to Colombia on a Royal Visit in late October, and take your tastebuds on a culinary tour of the country.