The Venezuela of the alleged humanitarian crisis is full of contradictions. One of them is the love of gourmet cuisine, the proof is public and well-known in the place where, after all, we all converge and see each other in our true colors: social networks.
Instagram, let’s say, is full of Venezuelan foodies accounts, a term in English that has recently become fashionable to define fans of good food. “Comidista” would be its literal translation into Spanish and more or less well illustrates what it means.
This is how chefs, restaurants, food and beverage outlets, brands and Venezuelan cooking schools use this network to share recipes and tips that allow high-caliber dishes to be made at home. All have thousands of active and interested followers.
This is a paradox in a country where, according to Human Rights Watch statistics, 80% of households are “food insecure.”
Ingredients that are far from being part of the basic grocery store and kitchen utensils that are little in the home of a working class family, is what is required for the preparation of many of these dishes. Even so, the response of the Creole Internet users is at least enthusiastic, asking for more detailed data and giving a report of their experiences.
Best sellers of the network
To show several cases. One, for example, is chef Víctor Moreno, owner of the expensive (and always full) Moreno restaurant, in the Altamira Village shopping center, among other gastronomic initiatives.
In his account @victormorenoc, with 164 thousand followers, at the same time he asked for humanitarian aid for the country last February on the Venezuela Live Aid concert with a picture of an arepa on a Venezuelan flag, two days later he shared with his virtual audience his trout dish salted with apple salad. And so on.
The recipes of this culinary celebrity are some best sellers in the social network. On February 16 he published a step by step to prepare squid in tomato sauce, which he got 1,459 likes and dozens of comments from people who expressed their interest in experimenting with the dish in their homes. The majority of those who wrote asked for more explanation to carry out the “blanqueado” process. Nobody asked where they would buy the cheapest kilo of squid, or if it came out the same with tuna that comes in the Clap box.
Another that also “crush it” in the networks with their recipes and dishes is José Miguel Elías. His account on Instagram @chefturista is not as successful as Moreno’s, with only 10,700 followers. What happens is that his niche is YouTube.
Its channel Cocinando con Chefturista has 158,072 subscribers and its videos are super popular. His recipe for “Crunchy chicken fingers” achieved 99 thousand views, or his step by step to make “super soft homemade brioche bread” had just over 17 thousand.
Chefturista does not blush on Instagram when he posts posts with the tag # madurocoñoetumadre (#madurofuckyou) and the next day he shares the recipe for cracked cookies.
In the shower of comments no one reprimands him, nobody tells him what a barbarian!, that in the midst of a humanitarian crisis where are they going to get powdered sugar, olive oil or Parmesan cheese, rather, they all promise to prepare the recipe, and then some report the success or failure of it. In general, everyone appreciates the courtesy of the socialization of knowledge.
Carmen Montelongo (@lamontelongo), who is described in her bio as ” foodie by addiction and cook by vocation”, is also one of the Venezuelan influencers of the gastronomic world. With 56 thousand followers on Instagram, she is a frequent guest on variety programs to share recipes and give cooking tips.
Marmitako, tomato tartar and Sicilian pasta are three of the recent recipes published by this chef who on January 23, while Trump proclaimed Guaidó as president of Venezuela, shared a post about the story of Orpheus and Eurydice that concluded with a “do not lose faith, we are already out there”.
With shortages and all
It’s not just about cooks. The supermarkets also register. Plaza’s, for example, shares recipes every day, inviting people to go through its chain of establishments to acquire the respective ingredients.
Chocolate snacks, chiffon cake and octopus a la gallega are part of his most recent publications on the Instagram network. Of course, Plaza’s promises that everything that is required for the respective preparations can be found in its stores. Quite an affront to those who walk around denouncing scarcity and shortages.
In fact, it does not stop there. This supermarket not only helps its clients to prepare the recipes that it shares with Instagram, but it is willing to train them in a Cooking School with offices in Los Chaguaramos and Los Naranjos that offers a wide variety of workshops throughout the year.
In March, for example, it is promoting courses of syrups and cocktails, cakes and sweets, handmade bread, vegetarian cuisine, salads and dressings, antipasto and Greek cuisine. The cost of the course includes the ingredients used, which come directly from their shelves.
Translated by JRE/EF