With an attractive and innovative tourism promotion recipe, Costa Rica showed an appetizer of its gastronomy with identity, seasoned with a few teaspoons of information on biodiversity and nature, all cooked with the subtle slow fire of the warmth of its people.
This was the virtual event “Cook like a Tico” organized by the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT), when one of the kitchens of the Amura Culinary Center, in Tibás, San José, was transformed into a space of cultural gastronomic exchange between the renowned Costa Rican chef Isabel Campabadal and a large group of journalists specialized in tourism, travel, and gastronomy from the United States and Canada, who will later share the culinary experience in their publications.
The special guests faced the virtual challenge of preparing three Costa Rican recipes from their homes and under the tutelage of the experienced professional, in charge of guiding them step by step in the preparation of the food.
Renowned media such as Condé Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Toronto Star, Canadian Traveler, Best Health, Forbes, Today, Shermans Travel, New York Post, Good Housekeeping, Smithsonian Magazine, Elle Canada, The Globe and Mail, Travel Weekly, Saveur, The Boston Globe, Matador Network, among others were all present in this “virtual kitchen”.
A pleasant surprise
Thanks to the production and support of the NJF Public Relations agency in the United States and VoX in Canada, (both affiliated with MMGY Global), the participating journalists received in a personalized way a surprise box by mail with all the ingredients for the preparation of the recipes, an Apron with the Esencial Costa Rica brand, the book Costa Rica Cuisine and Traditions (autographed by chef Campabadal), a Guanacaste sauce, a passion fruit jam and a cutting board made by Costa Rican artisans.
As Campabadal explained: “We are using three traditional recipes, with an innovative presentation that includes a cassava ceviche with dried tomatoes and black olives; then we have a tuna fillet with a macadamia cover, served with a tropical mango and papaya sauce and finally, some ripe bananas in a honey of glory, with a sweet top and cinnamon sticks”.
The chef explained that the recipe proposal, although based on traditions, is sophisticated and reflects our tropics with all its exuberance, its final presentation is pleasing to the eye because it shows a variety of colors and ingredients that reflect gastronomy that has been influenced by many cultures.
Promotion prepared with “great pleasure”
For her part, Carolina Trejos, ICT Marketing Director, assured that within the framework of the new normality “being innovative and how we transmit our messages to the public of interest is fundamental, but above all to be relevant in our main markets such as the United States “.
Trejos added that with these promotion and marketing actions it is possible to expand the positioning of our country beyond nature and biodiversity, to intermix it with cultural and gastronomic elements.
“Our challenge is to promote Costa Rica as a comprehensive, sustainable destination that generates relevant experiences for our tourists and precisely through native food, links and connections are established between communities and travelers, generating those sensory images that we never forget: a gastronomic destination and that it is exactly what we want”, concluded Trejos.
ICT took advantage of the event to show promotional videos of Costa Rica, as well as a presentation in which they shared information about the National Plan for Sustainable and Healthy Gastronomy of Costa Rica, the tradition of eating Gallo Pinto, the existence of “sodas”, the benefits of a tropical climate for the variety of fruits and vegetables, together with other reasons that will visit Costa Rica unique, unrepeatable, but above all “Pura Vida”.
At the end of the culinary meeting, the communicators showed to the cameras the result of the preparation of their dishes, and then interacted with general questions. They were pleased to be accompanied by their family bubbles and finally tasted their 100% Costa Rican creations.
The United States and Canada represented in 2019, before the Pandemic, more than 1.8 million tourists and constitute the two main source markets for tourists to our country.