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I was in Bogota in late August to start shooting the pilot for a series on food, living systems, regenerative agriculture, pleasure, challenges, science, and meaning. I told my friends at the production company in Bogota "guys, these are the days I can come to Colombia, let's do this!" and booked the ticket.

I was planning on looking for interesting high end chefs celebrating Nature, some traditional food restaurants and perhaps a short foraging and/or hunting adventure in the outskirts of Bogota.

2 days after I booked the ticket, I see on my FB feed a post from Mugaritz, (the No 6 Best restaurant in the World this year) that said "See you soon Bogota!". WHAT?! I immediately clicked on the link, booked my place at the Mugaritz dinner in Bogota and found out there was a gastronomy festival putting this awesome event together called Alimentarte, which translates roughly as "Feeding You" and is a play on words between Alimentar (To feed) and Arte (art).


"There is a beautiful ancient Chinese story which tells of a magic potion for eternal youth. And if you were to follow the recipe, it would take about 12 years to gather the ingredients. It's a metaphor for the journey. Once you taste the seasons, the landscapes, the flavors, the climates and the specifics of each terroir if you will, it's as if you're 'inoculated' with the world. That'll keep you young forever."

Not only did I meet Andoni Luis Aduriz (Mugaritz) the first day in Bogota, a handful of amazing people from different countries welcomed me and my team in a fun, warm and hospitable way. Ximena Hernandez, a consultant in Spain, introduced me to Andoni Aduriz, to Luciana Bianchi (who cooks and writes with and about chefs such as Massimo Bottura (Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy), Antonio Bachour and Virgilio Martinez (Central, #1 50 Best Latin America 2015! - Lima, London); I also met Janaina Rueda who runs a handful of interesting restaurants in Sao Paulo with her husband Jeffim Rueda (Bar da Dona Onça in Sao Paulo is one of them) and the Peruvian demi-god Gaston Acurio who was wise, warm and welcoming. The event was brilliant, Bogota was delicious and the people are some of the warmest, most fun and vibrant in the world.

We shot interviews with Andoni (Mugaritz), Luciana and Janaina, they welcomed us in their kitchens. We shot, we ate, we celebrated food and sharing meals. It was delicious and it was mind-expanding.

Andoni is the kind of guy who will push the envelope with every single sentence, loves to question, doubt, create and tease your mind and palate. The Mugaritz dinner felt like bringing a Contemporary/Conceptual Art show to your mouth and mind. In his own words, he wanted the tasting menu to be like a fashion photograph.

In the middle of the Mugaritz dinner tasting menu at Harry Sasson restaurant came his dish "Decadencia". He says: "Florence in the 17th century was very powerful. Having golden utensils in the home was almost considered vulgar because anyone could have them. Sugar utensils now, THAT was the ultimate luxury. You have an army of people making these time-consuming cutlery sets which wouldlast only one meal. So decadent."

We talked ecosystems, creativity, sustainability, countryside-city relationship, the many ways culture and nature meet and the power of gastronomy as a force to draw tourism, spur economic growth and reconnect people to the land, the soil, the inmense variety of ingredients and cooking.

To me, cooking is as if (or exactly like) we are mirroring nature: we cook, chop, steam, heat, transform, pre-digest, ingest and digest. We transform reality, we transform ourselves and our body in the process.

The perks? It can be delicious and it can open your mind. The added perks? It can give you power, focus and it can be sustainable.

That is what the forest, the ocean and the landscape do. Nature sprouts, grows, blooms, falls, cooks, digests, and creates new life again. That's called an ecosystem and it cycles nutrients. We are part of that nutrient cycle. When we are alive as a transforming player in the cycle, when we die well, as organic matter to be cycled to create more living matter.

And living matter is what we went after:  we visited traditional restaurants in Bogota serving restorative powerful dishes such as Blood Soup and er... Bull "crank" soup: Traditional soup recipes that have been handed down for several generations high up in the Andes.

I am fascinated by organ meats. They are packed with micronutrients and enzymes in a way that muscle meats are not.

Maybe we could learn from some other keystone species such as Wolves, Lions and other apex predators. The alpha