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Chef Adelia Cisneros: “It is up to each Chef to make traditional dishes in order for tourists to take something from Panama in their memory”

Boquete is a region that has been developing its tourism, opening its doors to people from all over the world. However, this region full of nature, high-altitude coffee and good people is also a land of opportunities for professionals from all over the country to enhance their talent. This is the case of our guest, who was born in Sona and grew up with her parents in the Veraguense countryside. From a very young age she watched her mother cook and learned the basics, but when she saw that it was possible to study gastronomy at the university she got enrolled right away, graduating in Culinary Arts, leading her to work as a Chef at the Crown Plaza hotel, in Grupo Rey as Junior Chef and in a venture focused on healthy meals for schools. However, Chef Adelia Cisneros always wanted to return to the countryside to work until her current partner invited her to move to Boquete and open the Panamanian food restaurant that she always wanted, called “Meye Bounore” (Beautiful Mother or pretty woman in Ngäbe dialect ). Since 2019 he lives in Boquete and today shares with The Visitor – El Visitante her feelings about gastronomy in Boquete and how this land gave her the opportunity to develop her full potential.

What made you want to develop your gastronomic potential in Panama?
“Because I love Panama and I think that we can make ourselves known much more through the different typical dishes that we can offer. And the pride of being able to show our roots through food. Boquete is a district that welcomes many local and foreign Visitors and the end up loving our gastronomic culture.”

Why is Boquete a place of opportunity for gastronomy professionals?
“Boquete is one of the Districts of Panama most visited by national and international tourists. It is an attractive area both to live and work, 56% of the people who live in Boquete are foreigners. It has the Baru volcano and Boquete produces the Geisha coffee, the weather is also pleasant, and the people are very hard-working.”

How much does local food contribute to the tourist experience in Boquete?
“I would say a lot, although in terms of percentages, I am not clear, what I do know is that we are a producing district. Fresh products are the perfect ingredient to offer quality food. Coffee plays an important role, in the gastronomy of this district, this has changed the culinary experience a lot in positive in recent years. There are more and more chefs, focused on Panamanian food and making all of this an experience is our responsibility”.

What is the reaction of foreign visitors to local Panamanian food and how important is it to their experience?
“Very good, I think that Panama has a lot to offer in gastronomy, there are many tourists who come to try our traditional dishes, and for me it is a pride to be able to give them that same thing. It is in each of us who are in charge of gastronomy, and mainly the Panamanians, not to lose the traditions and to make sure each of our diners takes something of Panama with them both in their memory and in the desire to try any Panamanian dish again when they return to Boquete or Panama.”

Photos courtesy: Chef Adelia Cisneros.

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