Gastro-tourism is the act of touring the world with the palette in search of tasty food. While most think of the flavors of
France, Florence, Morocco and Barcelona as some of the best, a group in Ojochal is working to make the community a contender among the top gastronomic locations.
“We want to put Ojochal on the
map as a culinary capital,” said Annie Drake of Ojochal.
Restaurant owners of Azul, Citrus and Ylang Ylang in Ojochal have worked to put together the culinary festival named “El Sabor de Ojochal” at the restaurant Boca Coronado at the mouth of the Río Térraba. The first event is Saturday.
Chefs from 14 different restaurants will close down their facilities, meet at the river location and serve their best dishes under one roof. Mediterranean, Italian, French, Dutch and many other cuisines will be available
“Also, we have some local cuisines,” said Ms. Drake. “ We have some great ceviches and arroz con pollo.”
Those who come to experience the festival will also have live jazz music to enjoy in the outside space with a special feature from local band Blue Note. Also, a boat will be available to take guests to the surrounding islands where they can take food and picnic, Ms. Drake said.
Artisans with various works and persons who make homemade canned sauces will have items available for sale.
“We are all just thrilled about working together,” said Ms. Drake. “It has been a really big bonding effort.”
Organizers are expecting around 500 persons to attend the Saturday event. It will be from 11 a.m to 9 p.m. Tickets are $20 and include three drink and food tickets. Additional tickets can be purchased for $3 each.
Those who cannot attend El Sabor de Ojochal will have a chance to partake in three other events in 2013. From April 16 to 26 there will be restaurant week where all restaurants will have a fixed menu at a fixed price. There will also be culinary contests and events.
The community is about 30 minutes south of Dominical on the southern Pacific coast in the canton of Osa.
In July there will be a one-day festival. Finally, starting Sept. 22 there will be another week-long festival.
“It will be some of the best food you can get anywhere in the world and in Costa Rica,” said Ms. Drake. “We are expecting great food, music and fun people.”