Carlos Antoraz the man at Pumarmarca, Jujuy, North West Argentina
For more information :Email Bob Frassinetti. Press here to see photo's of Los Morteros. Los Morteros at Purmarmarca, Argentina.
As we wrote in some of our previous articles regarding our route 40 adventure, Los Morteros restaurant was one of our best findings. We discovered the place by accident and fell in love deeply with its charming atmosphere, relaxed environment, great service and wonderful food. Such was the great impact on us that once back in BA we decided to write a special piece on the restaurant, its chef and the owners.
We wanted to check some facts, get some insight information, so we called the restaurant at Purmamarca. Tere the manager and head chef talked with us and shared the inside spirit of the kitchen and heart of the Mortars. We also had the fabulous opportunity of meeting Carlos Antoraz, the man and mind behind the Morters. he's the architect who conceived and created the mortars. He and his wife Susie are the owners and the soul of the mortars.
The Mortars was conceived several years ago as a gathering place. Susie and Carlos are charming people; they have tons of friends and visits all year long from around the globe. So they came up with the idea of building themselves a teahouse that was also a gathering place for them and their friends. Soon, what started with a coup of tea and coffee, some pastry to eat and a lot of fun and enjoyment turned into a bigger project. The only thing that was possible to do is to go with the flow, and the tea house was soon a restaurant.
"The Mortars. Mortars, holes of stone left by the moon, the tree,
grinding's vital strike in times of harvest and sows.
At the end o the day with the bread, the corn and the seeds,
The magical ritual of the served table"
These lines welcomed us to the menu. Tere welcomed us to the kitchen; as Carlos did so to the bigger picture.
Carlos is a passionate man; you can tell so by the way he talks about those things he loves the most, his work, his family, his ever-growing and changing projects, his beloved province and town of Purmamarca. He's a true artist; he knows what he talks about when he designs a home, because he's done one. He knows what he deals with when he works with adobe because he studied all the process and makes his own adobe, and shares the pleasure of building with the aid of technique and technology. He would have loved to be a sculpture maker. we believe he already is thru his great works of art that are also houses, homes.
One thing we finally discovered about Los Morteros and its people is that these are all great hearted passionate people who love what they do, who put all of their being in their products, and transmit a truly dear positive energy.
Tere is the cook and manager. She prefers the be known as cook than chef, this is something she's been doing all her life, ever since she was a young girl and helped her mom and sold tamales and humitas in San Salvador. The great Gato Dumas, also preferred the word Cocinero, Cook, there's something about the craft that was left out by the French denomination.
Tere, who's now 33 began to work in the kitchen over 10 years ago. By the
age of 24 she had her own shop in San Salvador, Jujuy's capital city -where she was born and raised-, the place was called Lo de Tere ( Tere's place), and she served organic traditional food, the best products for a great treat to the tummy and soul. It was there when she first met Susie and Carlos; they were regular customers at her place. The turns of life brought their roads together and now at the mortars they all pinch in for a wonderful wholesome experience for the customers of the Mortars.
Tere says that she began to discover herself at the Mortars, not only as a cook but also as a person, appreciating the use of time and love in the cooking process, the delight of food as a soul feeder, the ties you and tie thru that special and unique experience of feeding your body and soul. She emphasizes the importance of the great team she works with, as well as Susie's and Carlos' great energy. Amancay, Berta, Mariela, Guillermo, Pablo, they all chip into the fabulous energy of Los Morteros.
We asked her to share with us and our readers an insight to her kitchen. This is what she chose:
Greens with mustard and cane honey vinaigrette and goat cheese
Pumpkin and goat cheese with maize crunch “criolla” soup
Goat cheese and Andes potato empanada -pastry- in capia maize (a local corn
Huajca Locro made with local potatoes, maize and beef in homemade clay pot
Jujuy style lamb stew with Andes potatoes and quinoa grain timbale
Llama meat Carbonada stew with dry peaches and mote corn.
Purple maize sweet custard with caramelized figs and Philadelphia like goat cream cheese
Cane honey turron- nougat
Goat cream cheese Tiramisu
NOTE: All dairy products are carefully produced by the owners on their farm, named “Volcano”
For more information :Email Bob Frassinetti. Press here to go to The Buenos Aires Art Dealer is a webzine magazine on Art, Antiques & Collectibles made or found in Argentina. The Buenos Aires Art Dealer,Argentina.
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Bob Frassinetti. Copyright 2005. Roberto Dario Frassinetti.