From July 15-16, 2023, London hosted the National Geographic Culinary Tourism Festival, an opportunity to gather travellers around cuisines from around the world, and this year Ecuador was featured. 

Ecuador in the United Kingdom: an enticing culinary discovery

The British capital, London, hosted the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival 2023 this year, with over 6,500 visitors, 78 exhibitors and more than 50 conferences with key players in the sector. Known for its cultural diversity and passion for food, London seemed to be a good place to bring together foodies from around the world, to promote gastronomic tourism and highlight the culinary riches of the world. And this year, Ecuador has decided to show its gastronomic potential and make its local specialities known to the greatest number.

Led by the Minister of Tourism Niels Olsen, the Ecuadorian delegation packed their bags for London to discover the typical dishes from the four regions of the country: the Pacific Coast, the Andes, the Amazon and the Gálapagos. Three chefs María Ruth Moreno, Iván Grain and Jorge Pacheco also attended the event as ambassadors of Ecuadorian flavours, showcasing the country’s traditional recipes.

What are the specialties in the spotlight?

From Uchumanka Amazonian soup to paila ice cream, dozens of recipes from the four regions were prepared and tasted during the festival. Every 45 minutes, a new dish was presented to the delight of the participants who had the opportunity to taste the Ecuadorian flavours.

In the Andes region, the famous hornado and papa’s locro were presented to highlight the High Plateaux. Hornado is a pork-based dish cooked over a wood fire. Papa’s locro is a potato-based soup descended from the pre-colonial culinary culture. The Pacific Coast could not be better represented than by its famous encobellado, a fish soup classified as the second best in the world according to the Taste Atlas.

Ceviches have also been showcased with the delights of the Pacific Ocean and Maito, fish wrapped in banana leaves. All these specialities could delight the taste buds of the most demanding.

Culinary discoveries have also gone through highlighting local products such as coffee or cocoa. The traditional London tea time has also been transformed into the Ecuadorian cafecito, because yes, Ecuador is a coffee producer and its expertise in the field is waiting to be developed. Coffee specialities were highlighted by barista specialist Mario Idrovo, highlighting these skills in various demonstrations. Ecuador was also presented as the country of origin of cocoa and the cradle of cocoa bean production.

A tourist opportunity for Ecuador

The Minister of Tourism, Niels Olsen, spoke on the event: “it is a great pride to promote our delicious gastronomy at an international event such as the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival, where we come with the culture, tradition and diversity that surround Ecuadorian cuisine.” According to him, gastronomy is a powerful motivation for travelers who seek to immerse themselves in local cultures and live a unique taste experience during their travels.

But the promotion of Ecuador does not stop there. Last May, chef Alejandro Huertos, owner of the 3500 restaurant in Cumbaya, the trendy district of Quito and 7 other chefs, flew to Asia and participated in the Bangkok International Food Festival 2023 in the Thai capital. On this occasion, Ecuadorian flavours were highlighted and promoted internationally. The Minister of Tourism congratulated the Ecuadorian chefs for their participation and the promotion of their cuisine.

Gastronomy is a discipline understood, appreciated and which brings together internationally. A good way to promote a tourist destination in the world. And the Ecuadorian government has understood this!

If you want to come and discover the Ecuadorian gastronomy and the great restaurants of the country, do not hesitate to contact us, our travel advisers will be happy to design a tailor-made tour, to make you salivate.