When dining at a restaurant owned by the chef, one of the most enjoyable things is being able to feel their personality in every aspect of the experience. This rings especially true at El Chato, where Alvaro’s passion for creating an emotional dining experience shines through. From his distinct style – black jeans, Fred Perry polo, and cap – to his diverse taste in music, Alvaro’s personality can be felt from the moment you step foot in the door.
Having studied at Hofmann Hospitality School in Barcelona, and worked at top restaurants like Per Se, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, and Noma, Alvaro’s culinary expertise is nothing short of impressive.
El Chato is a modern gastro bistro that showcases the country’s incredible biodiversity through its menu. And while the menu changes seasonally, there are certain dishes that have become signatures and remain a permanent fixture, such as chicken hearts with fermented potates, salted cream cheese and sorrel; lemongrass ice cream, mambe opera and quinoa flakes; baby corn with brown butter consomé, fried cheese and corn crumble.
What sets El Chato apart is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere, which makes guests feel right at home. For Alvaro, it was never about creating a sterile, fine dining experience. Instead he wanted to offer something more authentic, and approachable, at one with the community of producers that surround and inhabit the country’s capital city.
Not many large cities can boast the type of climate in Bogotá, its surrounding rain forest hosts the largest density of fruits of any capital city on earth. The high altitude also creates a unique climate for the huge variety of produce which you will discover on the menu alongside introduced varieties from all over the world. The fertility of the soil and guaranteed rainfall means almost any species of plant can be grown here, one of the main reasons for Alvaro’s return to his homeland. Why buy international produce when you can so easily grow it and at the same time support a burgeoning specialty market. This feeling of inclusiveness brings a wholesome feeling from the land into the restaurant, elegant plating of the cities soul food through the lens of a world traveller.
The World’s 50 Best- The Best Restaurant in Colombia 2022
The World’s 50 Best Latin America – #5, 2022
The Best Chefs Awards – #86, 2022
The World’s 50 Best Latin America – Highest New Entry Award, 2018