The Flavors of Patagonia: Coirón Restaurant

November 14, 2017 - 2 minutes read

Patagonian cuisine is largely unknown to those who have never ventured to the bottom end of South America. But our regional cuisine is blessed with many distinct flavors and dishes, a tradition that we like to pass along to our guests at Hotel Las Torres.

Head Chef Jorge Silva’s menu at Coirón Restaurant blends super-fresh local ingredients — many of them grown in our own organic garden or raised at our Cerro Negro ranch — with recipes and cooking methods pioneered by our ancestors or passed down from the indigenous peoples of southern Chile.

A great example of this fusion is our hot seafood soup, a traditional dish from the hamlet of Puerto Edén on Wellington Island in the archipelago just north of Torres del Paine. In addition to seafood, this delicious cold-weather favorite is flavored with merken — a piquant, smoky seasoning made from goat’s horn chili by the Mapuche Indians.

Another local spice that features in our cuisine is pebre — a combination of coriander, onion, garlic, aji peppers and olive oil — that adds a little extra zest to our fresh Austral grouper (caught in local waters).

Speaking of blended traditions, our Croatian gnocchi with shredded beef and calafate berry sauce is another European-South American hybrid. The gnocchi derives from an ancient recipe that the hotel’s Kusanovic family and other Croatian immigrants brought with them to Patagonia from the old country. Dark purple calafate berries are native to Patagonia and a favorite ingredient of many different dishes and drinks (including calafate sour cocktails).

Coirón also uses ingredients from elsewhere in Chile, like the olive powder used in our grilled salmon. It comes from the Azape Valley, an oasis in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile famous for its bitter, violet-colored olives.