The delights of Chile at the Metropolitan

The sights, sounds, and above all, the flavors of Chile are on display this week, as the Chilean Embassy and the Metropolitan Hotel are currently hosting an exciting culinary and cultural festival at the hotel’s welcoming premises. The festival, which opened its doors last night and is running to Monday, is taking place at the hotel’s rooftop La Veranda restaurant. At a press conference earlier this week, Eugenia Chandris, a member of the board of directors of the Chandris chain of hotels and resorts, talked about how close Greece and Chile are in spirit, while the Chilean ambassador, Marcia Covarubbias, further noted that the two countries enjoy a close rapport in commerce and education, for instance. On the cultural front, Ambassador Covarubbias offered a telling example of how well the two nations communicate artistically: Pablo Neruda’s celebrated «Canto General» was set to music by Greece’s Mikis Theodorakis. With a population of nearly 16 million, and an annual rate of 3 million visitors per year, Chile’s rich and varied landscape includes beaches stretching 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles). At the Metropolitan, an exhibition of photographs by Raul Hernandez, focusing on the port city of Valparaiso, will offer visitors a glimpse of Chile. Also part of the festivities is a presentation of handmade lapis-lazuli jewelry and objects d’art by the prominent Callfu-Cura label. At La Veranda, diners will savor a variety of Chilean dishes, including pastel de choclo, a traditional recipe based on corn (a major ingredient of the country’s cuisine) with minced meat, chili, cumin, raisins and eggs; tuna mousse in yogurt sauce; shrimp and mature avocados; empanadas, small pies with meat, chicken or cheese; various seafood platters; white beans as well as beef roll with vegetables. For dessert, look out for delicious brazo del reina, a sponge cake roll with milk and sugar, or even a familiar-looking cake topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. A Casa Leona Chardonnay and a Santa Maria Merlot will accompany the dishes. Chilean dining at La Veranda will be musically complemented by Carmen Prieto – the voice of the Chilean bolero – and her orchestra. For reservations, call 010.947.1212.

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