Not many people would name their restaurant ‘Sorcerer Mountain’. But then not many people are quite like the rather exceptional Chef Patricia Miranda-Allen of Cerro Brujo Gourmet, a hideaway epicurean restaurant in Panama’s remote Volcán region in the Province of Chiriqui.
Patricia Miranda-Allen is not your typical chef: with over 15 years of experience, most of her training is empirical and self taught. She admits she always loved ‘to cook and eat rich’ and it is her passion for food she considers the best school of all. With her combination of talent, creativity and natural instinct she has made Cerro Brujo Gourmet one of the country’s most talked about restaurants.Her cuisine is distinctively Panamanian with ingredients sourced locally, like dry aged beef, lamb, goat, duck and trout, but also shows Mediterranean and Asian influences. One of Patricia’s specialties are fresh salads for which she uses organically grown vegetables and edible flowers and we’re in for a treat as we arrive for a late lunch.Her signature ensalada espectacular, made of organic lettuce, green leaves, arugula, avocado, papaya pearl and homemade vinaigrette kicks off the menu together with some pan seared provolone cheese. Platters are beautifully arranged and made for sharing, a reference to local eating habits.
The salad is followed up with a delicious pollo con mole, juicy chicken with a sesame and peanut jus.
Last but not least – my favourite part of the meal – is dessert in the form of a delicious Banana Foster, dehydrated bananas with vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate and brandy, along with some excellent Panamanian coffee.
It’s a long way from Panama City to Volcán (which is – obviously – also home to a volcano, Volcán Barú) but food aficionados and celebrities alike flock to this little town to come to Cerro Brujo Gourmet. And oh, how worth it is! Forget the volcano…
Cerro Brujo Gourmet
Brisas del Norte
Telephone +507 6669-9196
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