December 12, 2017

Ecuador Shines

By Michael Bonté.

Ecuador ‘s cuisine was in the spotlight at the first edition of a string of different  food festivals organized in this instance by the Embassy of Ecuador, Diplomat Magazine and the Crowne Plaza Den Haag-Promenade hotel.

The Crowne Plaza’s Brasserie Brut was the venue of this event. The guests were serenaded by an Ecuadorean trio before the official opening by the Embassador of Ecaduor H.E. Fernando Bucheli.

His welcoming words mentioned that: “It had been sixteen years ago that Ecuadorean food had been featured in the Netherlands”. He special welcomed Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, Apostolic Nuncio to the Netherlands,   also thanked Diplomat Magazine, the hotel General Manager Patrick Aarsman and the hotel’s coordinator of the event Ms Michelle Spork.

For additional Roy Strik’s pictures, please open the following link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/121611753@N07/albums/72157690063390985

H.E. Fernando Bucheli together with chef Guillermo Miranda.

The cutting of the ribbon at  the restaurant was welcomed with anticipation by everyone. Amongst the many invitees were H.E. Mrs Soraya Alvarez, Ambassador of Cuba, H.E. Ms Haifa Aissami Madah, Ambassador of Venezuela for the International Organizations, H.E. Ms Maria Teresa de Jesus Infante Caffi, Ambassador of Chile, H.E. Mr Edgar Elias Azar, Ambassador of Mexico,  Mr  Renan Villacis, Director of the Secretariat of the Assembly, International Criminal Court, Judge Geoffrey Henderson and Judge Sanji Monageng, from the ICC as well.

A  cocktail of cachaça, cinnamon, mint and sparkling water was served to tickle the palates while the guests proceeded to the elegantly decorated room with hundreds of Ecuadorian red rosses brought specially for this occasion.

Mr Jose Yturralde Villagomez, Third Secretary & Vice-Consul, Embassy of the Republic of Ecuador and spouse Jenny.

While everyone was seated the starters of   baked plaintain, sandwich of pork and a ceviche of shrimps were served at the table.  Next up were the mains which were presented  buffet style. They came from the Andes, Highlands and Coastal regions of Ecuador. Potato and quinoa soup kicked of this course. Moving on to chicken, pork and seafood dishes.

Chef Miranda, was born in Guayaquil and grew up in the capital city of Quito, a fact which impressed upon him two of the most diverse and fascinating cultures in Ecuador. He studied in Germany and when back to Ecuador to expanded his knowledge of the culinary arts in Quito also exchanging experiences with chefs from all over the world.

Guillermo Miranda  said: “Cuisine is an expression of  cultural identity bearing the undeniable hallmark of a nation. A nation’s food is a gateway to getting to know its culture. I hope that with this recipes you will get a little taste of the message I’m intending to communicate and that you will try an Ecuadorian dish the next time you visit our beautiful country.”

Meanwhile the live music managed to get the guests dancing. The crowd was clapping and for a moment they were all transported to an Ecuadorean ‘fiesta’. With a mix of diplomatic and international participants this certainly reflected the international peace and justice vibe of The Hague.

Last but not least there were the sweets: a chocolate cake made with Ecuadorean cocoa and a Andes fruit icecream.

Three nights of this feast were presented and all sessions generated  a fully booked restaurant. Clearly this was an experience which has to be repeated quicker than the last time. It being so succesful this event will also  be showcased  in Brussels soon.

The next 2018 edition of the food festival will feature once a month cuisines from Cyprus, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Tunisia, Peru, Israel, Georgia and more. As this will be a monthly affair for three nights at the Crowne Plaza The Hague it certainly is recommended to make reservations quickly.

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