LA SUCULENTA, AMBROSÍAS Y ELIXIRES

Cerca del atardecer, un poco antes de las 17h00, se enrolla hacia arriba “la puerta de la ventana” de un reciente, novedoso -y algo oculto- proyecto culinario. Se descubre el logo en vinil- llamativo por su detalle- de Cafetería La Suculenta. Negro. Diseñado en puntillismo. Una letra S, color rosa fuerte serpentea la planta crasa como también se conoce a esta jugosa y voluptuosa plantita que almacena agua, se adapta, se modifica y resiste adversidades.

Detrás de esta ventana está la pequeña, rosada y alegre cocina donde se pone en marcha las ambrosías y elixires que se prepararán durante la jornada.

La Cafetería forma parte del Espacio Cultural Muégano Teatro, “un lugar para imaginar el cambio, ensayar la vida y asumir la diferencia”. La edificación está al fondo del patrimonial y encantador Callejón Magallanes, en la avenida Rocafuerte, en la zona rosa de Guayaquil. ¿Qué mejor locación para la creatividad culinaria? ¿Qué mejor sitio para contribuir y exacerbar a la experiencia teatral y cultural?

Si bien el Espacio podría estar fuera de nuestro mapa mental de referencias urbanas, una vez que “aterrizas” allí, empiezas a vivir – casi casi en modo abducción- el #efectosuculenta. La energía de la habitación rosa se extiende por el vestíbulo y la espaciosa terraza, proyectando el calor de hogar que las cocinas albergan. Coexiste también el magnetismo de las barras de bar, allí donde se encienden las tertulias, explotan las ideas, se nutre la bohemia.

Todo empezó un domingo 20 de mayo de 2018, en el marco de la clausura de los EDOC (Encuentros del Otro Cine) con la proyección del nombrado Documental “Siguiente Round” de Ernesto Yitux y Valeria Suárez Rovello. Me habían denominado -mis amigos- delegada para comprar 11 entradas para el documental, ya que vivo a cinco minutos a pie del teatro. La taquilla abría a las 16h00. Cuando llegué -16h20- las entradas estaban agotadas. El día previo, había estado en la Feria Bonaterra – una feria en la que participaba habitualmente los sábados cada 15 días (aún en estos días participo cada vez que es posible). Tenía producción excedente de hummus de chochos, chimichurris, y otras preparaciones envasadas que vendo en la línea de “Dips saludables multipropósito” bajo mi marca principal: Cocina y Placer.

Soy asidua asistente y admiradora de las obras del grupo Muégano Teatro desde que estaban ubicados en el sur de la ciudad frente al Parque Forestal. Entre timidez y confianza me acerqué a Pilar Aranda, una de las directoras y le pregunté si habían considerado servicio de alimentación para esa noche. Me dijo que no. Le propuse hacerme cargo. Desde allí, junto a mi madre y “consigliere”, y por algo más de un año, creamos menús temáticos para cada temporada de teatro de casa y de otras escuelas, danza, lanzamiento de libros u otra actividad cultural que hubiese. En el camino presentamos un proyecto de cafetería al grupo. Nos aceptaron. Empezamos los innumerables trámites. Pre-inauguramos el miércoles 30 de octubre de 2019.

“Armamos” la terraza, mesas, sillas, flores, luces, ceniceros y parasoles si fuera necesario. Limpiamos, abrillantamos, compramos insumos, recibimos proveedores, publicamos en redes sociales. Somos todólogas oficiales. A mucha honra. Y a otros muchos cansancio y satisfacciones.

Mezclamos café con la selección de especias del día. Puede ser cardamomo, clavo de olor, pimienta olorosa, nibs de cacao, canela en rama, pimienta negra. Una especia, dos, tres, todas juntas, énfasis en alguna. Todo depende de la cadencia de la tarde, la exquisita música o el necesario silencio – al menos dos días de apertura preferimos la pausa, el mutismo- que hayamos escogido para recibir a los andantes, paseantes, turistas, estudiantes, vecinos, los ya habituales del teatro, los amigos y seres de galaxias próximas que esperamos se enteren pronto de que aquí hay lugar y alimento para su curiosidad en la diversidad del mundo de vegetales, frutos secos, semillas y plantas.

Los miércoles y domingos son particularmente días de tranquilidad y sosiego, ideales para la lectura, la observación del Espacio, el cielo, las emociones, el ocio -devenido a menos en estos tiempos de productividad ansia y brevedad- y el disfrute extendido de nuestros lemas #despacio y #sinprisas.

Hemos disfrutado a plenitud las bondades del verano de Guayaquil en el Callejón, pues aún con sol, la brisa del río y las corrientes de la temporada se han manifestado generosas y frescas. La sombra del edificio también ambienta oportuna después del mediodía.

Cafetera para el americano: a punto. El botón se encenderá para colar café cuando llegue la primera visita y lo solicite. Prensas francesas: a punto. Café orgánico o el especial con el que estemos ensayando y disfrutando. Y es que ir catando los diferentes aromas, moliendas – empaques inclusive- historias y referencias de las variedades innumerables de café es parte de la emoción cotidiana del descubrimiento.

Máquina de café turco, jarritos de cobre: apuntada en mi lista de deseos 2020 (cuando el presupuesto emprendedor haya sorteado publicidad, colaboradores, ampliación del menú, producciones, adecuaciones, etc, etc, etc).

Teteras: a punto. Tés, hierbas naturales, especias, infusores, limón, jarra de agua caliente, leches vegetales -de almendras o coco-, panela orgánica. Elixires naturales fríos: a punto. Limonada de hierbabuena, jugo de piña con albahaca y jengibre, agua de jamaica, hielo, agua con gas, licuadora para granizados, #sinsorbeteporfavor.

Elixires fermentados y espirituosos: a punto. Temperatura de las cervezas artesanales locales Santana, Urbana y otras no ecuatorianas. Vino tinto y blanco. Espumante de cuando en vez. Hierbabuena, limones, mazo, tajín, tabasco, salsa inglesa, sal marina y algunos etcéteras para más detalles.

Disponemos sobre uno de los mesones -el que se asoma al exterior bajo la ventana- una docena de frascos de contenidos multicolores en modo delicatessen. Contienen: morrones asados amarillos, rojos y verdes brillantes, cortados en tiras, conservados y adobados delicadamente en aceite de oliva y vinagre de manzana, medallones de berenjena asados, zuccinis horneados, frijoles refritos, flor de jamaica salteada con cebollín (la prueba cierta y noble de que un ingrediente tiene múltiples empleos aún después de un primer uso. En este caso infusionamos la flor de jamaica para obtener una bebida concentrada, hiper refrescante. Luego deshilachamos las flores ya hidratadas y hacemos un sofrito para una de nuestras suculentas propuestas: “taquitos y flores”). Hummus de chochos natural, de albahaca con jalapeño, huancaína, y otros varios sabores, babaganoush o puré de berenjenas, olivas verdes y negras. Y así, ambrosías “jacarandosas” para elaborar más ambrosías: sánduche de vegetales en pan focaccia casero, tortillas de verde, y el o los especiales del día.

Nuestro estándar de calidad viene impajaritablemente con sorpresa, antojo, deseos, novedad, libertad, sin receta estricta pues la creatividad es inagotable. El cuerpo y la mente no lo son, sin embargo. Me preparo un café con cardamomo. Estamos abiertos. ¡Bienvenidos!

 

 

 

 

 

Fotos: Ricardo Bohórquez

Contacto: Érika Garaicoa

Teléfono: 0992294051

Horarios de atención: de miércoles a domingo de 17h00 a 22h00/ domingos de 11h00 a 16h00 con desayunos y brunch.

Nota: Además siempre que hayan eventos culturales, aún fuera de horario habitual, la cafetería estará abierta.

Redes sociales: Instagram @lasuculenta_gye @cocinayplacer

Redes sociales: Facebook @lasuculentagye

Correo electrónico: lasuculenta@cocinayplacer.com


 

Érika Garaicoa Panchana. Cocinera emprendedora. Estudió Técnicas de cocina internacional en la escuela de chefs de Ecuador. Autodidacta. Heredera de los saberes culinarios de su abuelita Beatriz.

Creadora de la marca Cocina y Placer. Considera que la buena alimentación y los hábitos saludables son temas importantes para el desarrollo de una mejor sociedad, pues la buena comida influye en la salud, el buen estado de ánimo, la toma de decisiones y la interacción entre las personas.

Actualmente administra Cafetería La Suculenta 100% basada en plantas. Cocina de autor. Además, versiona platillos nacionales e internacionales en modalidad vegana, energizante.

Objetivos/intereses culinarios personales:

Interactuar en un ecosistema gastronómico encaminado a lo saludable y sustentable.

Trabajar en cooperación mutua con otras artes y disciplinas para dinamizar la gastronomía natural, elaborando tanto platos de alta cocina como cotidianos asequibles y fáciles con la presencia y desarrollo de técnicas.

Promover la investigación de cultura ecuatoriana ancestral, para aprovechar la riqueza del suelo, sus productos y beneficios.

Trabajar para que la cocina ecuatoriana sea reconocida y admirada alrededor del mundo.

Acerca de Aurelio Paredes

Periodista de Profesión (Licenciado en Comunicación Social, graduado en la Universidad de Guayaquil), ecuatoriano de nacimiento, 59 años de edad y 37 años de experiencia. Empezó en 1982 como reportero radial y escaló posiciones hasta llegar a ser Editor de Deportes de Diario El Universo de Guayaquil, considerado el matutino de mayor circulación en Ecuador; Director de Revista Estadio (Deportiva) y Editor de Revista Vistazo (Política y Actualidad); presentador de televisión en varios programas deportivos; columnista de deportes y páginas humorísticas bajo el seudónimo de Delado; y guionista empírico en algunos programas de la televisión ecuatoriana. En la función pública fue Director de Comunicación de la Procuraduría General del Estado y en la empresa privada, Director de la Federación Deportiva Nacional del Ecuador.

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