Chef Leonor Espinosa and a dish from the restaurant Leo in Bogota
Courtesy of Leo (2)


Bogotá, Colombia

Colombian chef Leonor Espinosa has spent more than a decade creating dishes from her country that feature little-known ingredients such as corozo fruit (an açaí-like berry), leaf-cutter ants and spectacled caiman (a crocodilian reptile). As her profile has risen—last year, she won the prestigious Basque Culinary World Prize—so too has her restaurant’s, which has helped establish Bogotá as a culinary destination. Her goal with Leo—which Espinosa runs alongside her daughter and sommelier, Laura Hernández Espinosa—isn’t just to expose diners to Colombian fare; it’s also to support the local communities that help make her dishes possible, which she does through her foundation, FUNLEO. Next up for Espinosa? “The only thing I am certain of right now is that I don’t want to detach myself from the kitchen,” she says. —Alejandro de la Garza

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