In addition to landscapes and culture, food is one of the great attractions of this area. Here we list three events at which you can enjoy delicious Patagonian dishes.
One of the pleasures of traveling is discovering new flavors and culinary temptations. Fairs or gastronomic events are an excellent way to try different typical dishes in one place.
If you want your trip to coincide with a gastronomy experience, check out the following food fairs in southern Chile.
Maa Que Rico (“Wow, How Delicious”)
It is Puerto Natales’s first gastronomy fair, and its name is a tribute to a typical local expression “Maa,” meaning “Wow”!
It’s a new event, the first being held in September 2018. Given its success, a second is planned for the same month of 2019, kicking off the city’s high season. The idea is to display products and recipes of this southern area. There will be more than 20 stands as well as live music, handicrafts, and cooking classes.
The fair is organized by the local Gastronomic Association of Puerto Natales and Aysen Region's Cultural Tourism and Heritage office. In 2018, it took place in a covered courtyard in a local high school but there were also street stalls.
Sabores y Saberes de Aysén
This culinary festival seeks to bring together and recover the region’s flavors and handicrafts. The last event took place in 2018 in Puerto Río Tranquilo, 220 kilometers from Coyhaique. The activity gathered more than 40 exhibitors from the surrounding areas of Río Ibáñez, Cochrane, and Coyhaique.
The main point is to show, disseminate, and market products made by entrepreneurs from the Aysén Region that represent Patagonian traditions.
Currently, the event’s organizers, Sabores y Saberes, is planning the event and will provide updates on the organization’s Facebook Page.
Tierra del Fuego’s Largest International Barbecue Festival
For those who like meat and getting to know local food, this is the perfect day out. The Largest International Barbecue Festival in Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia seeks to create a festival for families around one of the area’s most famous culinary preparations.
The day brings together Chilean and Argentine chefs who grill more than a hundred lambs over open fires for the more than 4,000 diners who attend year after year.
In 2019, this massive barbecue will be held on Saturday 2 February in the Club de Jineteada José Mario Andrade, a riding club in the town of Porvenir. In addition to Patagonian gastronomy, the Chilean singer “Americo” and other local musicians and comedians will provide lively entertainment. Updates will be provided on the municipality of Porvenir’s official website (Spanish only).
The main attraction is the barbecue competition in which participants have four hours to cook the meat. There are two categories: lambs cooked horizontally or upright over the wood fire.
Each team can choose its technique and the ingredients are provided by the organization. Under the competition rules, each group must provide 55 portions for attendees at a price of 5,000 Chilean pesos (US$8 approximately).
When choosing the winner, judges evaluate the same cut from all the competitors and rate the lamb according to cooking, taste, presentation and meeting a fixed schedule.
In your trip to Chilean Patagonia, take the opportunity to taste products and dishes that are unique in the world. These three traditional food fairs are an excellent opportunity to sample new flavors and learn a little more about the local culture.