Gastronomy tells stories and traditions that have been passed from one generation to another. It is part of the collective memory that helps create a sense of belonging to people, even to an entire country. In the last decade, Chiriqui province has been leaving its mark on Panamanian gastronomy with a robust culinary offer full of creativity. A region that has welcomed a large number of Chefs with great international experience in search of their own voice and diners to surprise with a battery of flavors and textures that make the tourist experience in this province unforgettable. The best example is Boquete and Tierras Altas (Highlands), places surrounded by nature and a privileged climate. Although it has a wide range of tourist experiences, going to eat today is one of the most sought after.
For this reason, we spoke with Chef Charlie Collins, who is the standard bearer of the “New Panamanian Cuisine” that, although influenced by many cultures, has distinguished itself by having its own identity. Owner of the famous Panamonte hotel in Boquete, Chef Collins shares with us why Chiriqui has greatly grown its gastronomic proposal.
What are the greatest advantages that Chiriqui offers for the development of the gastronomic offer?
“Chiriqui is known as the country’s farm. Everything here is fresh and of good quality. Most of us chefs work “from the garden to the table,” an advantage that we chefs have due to our position in the country. Also, we have very hard-working and dedicated human talent eager to contribute to the development of our gastronomy.
What is the type of gastronomy that has been growing in the region?
“I can say that we are in love with our culinary heritage of the region. We see how chefs from Chiriqui proudly prepare native dishes of the region and fuse them with techniques from other gastronomic influences to offer an entire experience.”
How does gastronomy nourish Chiriqui’s tourist offer and how does it differentiate it from the rest?
“The diversity of our gastronomy is reflected in the use of the product and respect for the ingredient. We have chefs from other countries who have adopted our gastronomy, diversifying dishes and at the same time adapting to the cuisine of the region.”