La Paz hosted the renowned Latin American Cooking Festival called Ñam, under the slogan: ‘Let’s change the world while eating’. During the first week of October, a four-day event, with two activities called: Ñam Innovate and Ñam Celebrate distilled the interest of chefs, producers, scientists and consumers. New ideas and proposals linking gastronomy and food with cultural traditions and nature are promoting a new way of experiencing cooking.
Ñam Innovate was an open discussion, including presentations and exchange of ideas on gastronomic research and innovations, valuing the rich culinary heritage (food diversity and knowledge), under the leadership of the most important chefs of the continent. WCS gave a talk on the relationship between gastronomy and biodiversity, highlighting the commitment of producers towards revaluing their ancestral knowledge, and their practices in managing and conserving biodiversity, as one of the main aims of Sabores Silvestres, an initiative that is carried out jointly with Gustu restaurant.
The most memorable moment of the festival was Ñam Celebrate, on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th, at one of the most emblematic places of the city: the Montículo, where a food court and a market of native Bolivian products were installed. The small-scale producers and the restaurants shared different products of the Bolivian pantry and dishes that synthesize the flavors and aroma with the citizens of La Paz, joining tradition with innovation. WCS promoted the participation of Tacanas, Lecos from Apolo, Lecos from Larecaja, Kallawayas from Charazani, Sullka Marka Agua Blanca and Teoponte producers. Andean tubers, Amazonian yams, aromatic and medicinal herbs, grown and collected across generations, were enthusiastically received, as well as caiman meat and paiche fish obtained through sustainable management. Organic coffee and native cocoa, produced under agroforestry systems, conserve forests and biodiversity, were similarly successful and stood out among the best products of the Ñam Bolivia festival.