Álvaro Clavijo, born in Colombia, always showed interest in cooking when working in several restaurants in Bogotá, a passion that led him to serve as a dishwasher by staying close to the stove. Due to the little opportunity he had in his native country to enter the world of cooking, he moved to Barcelona to study at the Hofmann Hospitality School, where he obtained gastronomic knowledge.
Colombian chef Alvaro Clavijo has had the opportunity to work in some of the best restaurants in the world – Per Se, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Noma among them – great international experience for a young chef. After passing through the kitchens of Barcelona, Paris, New York and Copenhagen, Álvaro Clavijo returns to Colombia to put together his proposal. El Chato opened its doors in 2017 as a contemporary bistro in the Chapinero Alto area.
Combining the taste of Colombia and France
This decision was made only two weeks before opening the restaurant, he says. First of all, Álvaro Clavijo wanted to serve “dishes from around the world, nothing really local,” following his experience in international cuisines. But his curiosity about local ingredients encouraged him to follow a new possibility of work – and to restore his roots in his country.
El Chato – a tribute to his city
Chato is a Bogota expression to refer to a person and in this way, Álvaro wanted to pay homage to his city and local products. Since it opened, it has linked up with small producers who send it their best ingredients. The relationship is so close to the point that with some he has developed some products or has managed to plant others that they were not cultivating. The menu changes according to the supply of local products and ingredients and some dishes have been there since the beginning of the restaurant and that customers continue to ask for, already becoming classics.