In this episode, your hosts Chris and Ken speak to Marsia Taha and Bertil Tøttenborg of Gustu, the Bolivian restaurant founded by Danish gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer. The four talk about Bolivian wine, the restaurant missions to connect with rural communities and producers, and more.
In 2012, Claus Meyer established his Melting Pot Foundation as a non-profit organization in Bolivia. Its main objective is exploring, revitalizing and promoting awareness of the cultural, natural and productive richness of Bolivia and the potential of its food heritage and gastronomic culture to make them a source for sustainable progress.
Since 2017, Marsia Taha has been the Head Chef at Gustu, where she has pushed for the recreation of traditional Bolivian flavors with native products and a mix of modern and ancestral techniques. At Gustu, Taha combines her talent with a social objective: to make Bolivian gastronomy an engine of national socio-economic development. She joined the Gustu team in 2013.
Prior to her time at Gustu, Taha worked in several kitchens around Europe, and interned in Danish restaurants such as Studio and Geist. She participated in culinary competitions such as the Azteca Culinary Competition and the eliminatory phase for the Bocuse d’Or. Taha was regional semifinalist of the San Pellegrino Young Chef 2018.
Taha graduated from the First School of Hospitality and Tourism of Bolivia and the Canary Islands Center for Hotel Studies in Spain.
Bertil Tøttenborg is the Restaurant Manager and Beverage Director at Gustu. He joined the team in 2015. At Gustu, Tøttenborg developed a deep knowledge of the wines, distillates, craft beers and coffees that are produced in Bolivia. He has helped Gustu build greater partnerships with small producers and support the production of organic and biodynamic wines. Tøttenborg has experience working in prestigious Danish restaurants such as Geist, where he held the position of Head Sommelier. Originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, he is a Certified Sommelier from the Copenhagen Wine Academy.