Welcome to my place . . . Buenos Aires
The Argentine capital is home to the best meat in the world. It is so tender you can cut it with a spoon
A tango show on the street in Buenos Aires in front of a restaurant with live music. Photograph: Getty Images
Bobby O Donoghue went to Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, with his now ex-wife and their daughter Gabriella. He started working as a chef, but then opened a language school, the Emerald Language Institute. He does consulting work for a number of restaurants there.
Where is the first place you always bring people to when they visit Buenos Aires?
The first place I like to bring new visitors is a place called Boca, which in Spanish means mouth. It is a beautiful little place, very popular with tourists where you can haggle at the markets, see a live tango show in the streets and enjoy the many beautifully painted houses.The artistry of this picturesque district is truly breath-taking.
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There are many fabulous parks scattered all over this beautiful city. Argentines like to lie around in parks and drink Mate, a herb infused drink very similar to the tea we drink back home, but it is used for sharing.One cup,one straw - it took me a while to get used to that. Also many museums are free too, sometimes they even do Noche de Museo (nights at the museum) where you can see all the exhibits that they have to offer at no cost.
Where do you recommend for a great meal that gives a flavour of Buenos Aires?
There are many great restaurants here and so much variety. As a chef, I’m always looking for new options and now there is a big fusion movement going on here in BA. Without doubt, BA has the best meat in the world. Don Julio is probably the most well known and loved. Parilla (Grill) has excellent meat so tender you could cut with a spoon.If you are missing some home comforts, Chippper has the best fish and chips in BA. It even does scotch eggs.
Where is the best place to get a sense of Buenos Aires’s place in history?
Surrounded by history with so many places to see, the Recoleta Cemetery is a good place to get a sense of the place of Buenos Aires in the history of Argentina. La Recoleta contains the graves of notable people, including Eva Perón, presidents of Argentina, Nobel Prize winners, the founder of the Argentine Navy, and a granddaughter of Napoleon.
What should visitors save room in their suitcase for after a visit to Buenos Aires?
Here in BA everybody eats Dulce de Leche (literally “sweet of milk”). It is like a toffee jam that they eat on everything. It is hard to describe but here they use it like we use Nutella back home. It is very sweet and they use in for pastries and filling for desserts. Also Argentina is famous for wine, the region of Mendoza has world famous vineyards and a good bottle of Malbec should be tucked nicely away in your luggage.
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