The seventh Culinary Excellence Workshop in LAM brought together chefs from all over the region.
The recent seventh annual Culinary Excellence LAM (Latin America) Workshop brought chefs from all over the region to the state of Minas Gerais, in southeastern Brazil. They came from our units in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Panama and Venezuela.
“The objective of the workshop was to promote the best culinary practices among our team of chefs, developing and increasing their technical knowledge, as well as encouraging the exchange of experiences among professionals throughout the region,” said Simone Okazawa, Head of Product & Service Development (PSD) LAM.
This journey through the flavors of Minas took the chefs to a number of towns. The first was Belo Horizonte, where they visited the local market and experienced the richness of local products like “doce de leite” and Jiló* (scarlet eggplant).
The team later travelled to Tiradentes, where they had the opportunity to sample different aspects of the gastronomy of Minas, from the traditional “Cozinha de Vó” (Grandma’s Cooking) at Beth’s Restaurant to tasting gourmet dishes at the Tragaluz Restaurant. They also enjoyed sampling the local cachaça* at the Mazuma distillery, harmonized by the famous “Queijo Minas” (Minas’ cheese) at the Queijaria Catauá.
As their special guest, they had Chef Fred Trinidade, who is one of the leading native chefs. During an intense classroom session, Chef Fred and his team worked with our chefs to prepare a number of local hot dishes, desserts and breads. In addition, the participants had a chance to learn how to mix a perfect caipirinha* under the tutelage of Chef Ricardo Fittipaldi, Senior Culinary Excellence Manager LAM.
“Chef Fred’s participation was essential for the team to interact with renowned chefs from Latin America, challenging them to reach ever higher levels of excellence and quality,” emphasized Fittipaldi. “We pay special attention to the culinary traditions of Latin American countries, continually exploring new ways to apply this knowledge in each of our kitchens, thus improving our offer of products and services.”
On the last day, they discussed PSD and Culinary Excellence from a strategic point of view. Fittipaldi brought up the implementation of standardized menu presentations that aim to ensure a harmonic experience for our customers. Lucas Alcântara, PSD Manager LAM, presented the top 2019 food trends based on the “#trending” report. “It is very important to always be attentive to the market in order to anticipate changes in passenger consumption so that we are able to present our clients with innovative and creative solutions,” Lucas pointed out. With the support of the LAM Procurement team, product samples illustrating new trends were available for chefs to taste, interact with and discuss their application in our business.
The event was also attended by Paulo Teixeira, RCOO LAM, who highlighted the strategy of the LSG Group and the brilliant contribution of our chefs in advancing our business objectives. “The market is reinventing itself, and we have the great challenge of creating value for our clients, guaranteeing the delivery of products with quality and consistency,” he said.
At the end of the meeting, the chefs were challenged to create exclusive recipes based on the lessons of the entire event so that they could take them back to their respective operational units. The best recipes will be recognized by the LAM Culinary Excellence team and published in one of the next LSG Group’s regional culinary books.
Jiló*: a low-calorie Brazilian vegetable with a characteristic bitter taste.
Cachaça* Brazilian spirit. It is made from fermented sugarcane juice.
Caipirinha* Brazil’s national cocktail. Its main ingredient is cachaça, but it also has lime or subtle lemon, sugar and ice.