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Culinary Exchange | Colombia & El Salvador




When Carlos Alvarado was a child living in El Salvador, he used to bring food to his father who worked in the corn fields. Images of the sun bathing the crops and his games in the corn fields were engraved in his memory; memories that became his greatest treasure.

Alvarado migrated to the United States in 1999. He settled in Washington, D.C. where he worked and forged his career as a cook in renowned restaurants of the city for more than a decade. To sow his dreams, Alvarado opens, together with his sister Mirna Alvarado, ‘Comedor y Pupusería San Alejo’ in 2016, a restaurant dedicated to preserving the traditions of Salvadoran cuisine and where corn is the main ingredient of 80% of dishes from the menu. In 2021, the Alvarado siblings open ‘Cocineros Modern Latin Eatery.’ Alvarado hopes the restaurant becomes an agent of change in the community.

From August 16 to 19, Alvarado was invited to participate as Cocinero [cook] in the event “Intercambio - Cena del Maíz” [Culinary Exchange – The Corn Dinner] and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Ringlete Restaurant in Cali, Colombia.

The first exchange took place in the Plaza de Mercado Alameda [Alameda Market Place] in Cali, Colombia, where Alvarado toured the place and shared with cocineras ancestrales [ancestral cooks] Martha Jaramillo from “Restaurante Ringlete,” Basilia Murillo, from “Restaurante Basilia,” Doña Marlene de Palacios, Doña Aracely Castañeda, founder of “Las Delicias de Ara,” and her daughter, Daisy Orozco, manager of “Las Delicias de Ara.”

Credits: drawing in the video by tomasjramillo (artist)

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