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COOKING UP THE RAINFOREST: The kitchen of the jungle according to the chef Mathilde Grand.

The discovery of the rainforest produce is an adventure both human and gustatory.

Mathilde Grand founder of Starfish Coffee is a Boho chef. She works freelance between Bocas, Panama and New York. Her specialty is the exploration of the rainforest flavors. The French chef and artist works with the Ngabe communities of San Cristobal, Siliko Creek and the Naso community of Weiko along the Teribe River. She goes to the discovery of these exotic flavors and tropical textures such as the Azara, the Cherimoya or the Bread Fruit, that she merges with traditional gastronomic technics such as the glacages, emulsions and mousselines. ”The Mune is the Rolls Royce of palm heart and doesn’t grow higher than 2 meters. The palm must be harvest 3 days before or after the new moon. The heart doesn’t need to be boiled and it serves raw. It is both melting and crispy with a sweet and green flavor. It is excellent in crab or lobster salads.”

“We develop a harmonious cycle that has benefited the flora and fauna of the jungle as well as our gastronomic tables. ”Mathilde’s goal is also to create a stable economic situation for communities through sustainable and responsible agriculture. “The effort through agriculture in the forest is an economic sustainability scheme for Indian communities. It is a non-invasive agriculture, in order to re-conquer the forest pasture’s peripheries to plant orchards. The other facet of this agronomy in situ is the foraging. That is to say the direct levy of food resources. At starfish coffee we’re a little hunter-gatherer foodies.”

Mathilde Grand, Juillet 2014.

The original text in french.