How My Culinary Tour of South America Helped Me Overcome My Pickiness

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I have always been what people describe as a picky eater. To me, it’s an exaggerated way to call someone that doesn’t admire the taste of (in my case) anything from the sea, corn, tomatoes, onions, or pretty much anything with a crunch.

Luckily, I found someone who doesn’t judge my “pickiness,” and instead encourages me to get outside of my culinary comfort zone. When my boyfriend Alex booked us a private three-hour cooking class with a Latin American chef, I knew I'd be in for more than just a treat.

Chef Gustavo is the owner and executive chef of Rumba Cafe in Washington, D.C.

He uses his Latin American traveling experiences to make traditional dishes, and offers private classes on Cozymeal, a website that lets you book unique cooking experiences.

Alex and I were joined by his mom, Tatiana, and another couple, as we were taught by Chef Gustavo how to make four delicious South American dishes from Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Venezuela. While preparing these dishes, Chef Gustavo made the experience even better, by teaching us about the history and culture behind every meal.

We made Peruvian ceviche, Bolivian quinoa croquettes, Venezuelan arepa reina pepiada, and my favorite meal of the night, Argentinian beef empanadas. It was an intimate and personal experience that made me curious about all the different dishes that I was too afraid to try all these years.

By the end of the night, I didn’t even care about the bits of onion in my empanadas.

Tags: International Cuisine

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Written By

Claribel Rivas

Claribel is a social media manager in the Washington D.C. area who incorporates her cultural influences into her creative content. See Full Bio

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