New Colombian Cuisine: A Dinner Discussion on Food, Diplomacy and Society

Meridian Global Leadership Council was invited to the residence of the Ambassador of Colombia, H.E. Francisco Santos, for an evening of fine Colombia dining and dialogue with renown chef Juanma Barrientos. Ambassador Santos, Mrs. Maria Victoria Garcia and Ms. Jodie McLean hosted along with Meridian International Center.

Chef Barrientos is consistently ranked among the top 50 chefs in Latin America due to his innovative spin on traditional Colombian cuisine. This technique, dubbed "elcielo," was designed in an effort to "cook the peace in Colombia."

Guests heard opening remarks from both McLean and Santos, as well as Meridian COO Lee Satterfield before diving into the immaculate meal. A pesto-like yucca bread kicked off the meal, followed by fruit ceviche with local fish, sweet plantain soup, pork rib and finally, mango and Colombian chocolate for dessert.

Those in attendance also had the pleasure of listening to Chef Barrientos speak on his cuisine and Colombian traditions, as well as his innovative techniques. At only 35-years-old, Barrientos owns and operates three restaurants in Medellín, Bogotá and Miami. He has also been recognized as a “Young Leader of Peace in Latin America” for his efforts to use cuisine as a way to bridge conflicts in Colombia.

Project summary

New Colombian Cuisine: A Dinner Discussion on Food, Diplomacy and Society
Number of Attendees: 56
Countries: Colombia, United States
Impact Areas: Cultural Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, Governance and Transparency, Public Diplomacy
Program Areas: Diplomacy
Partners: Diplomatic Corps, Private Sector