Alejandra Pau reports for Pagina Siete:
The Bolivian Llama Party: Bolivian food conquer New York
The Oropeza brothers are pioneers of modern Bolivian cuisine in the city that never sleeps. Salteña and chola sandwich are the stars.
The chola sandwich, salteña and mocochinchi are taken by assault the palate in New York, United States. The Bolivian Llama Party is a venture, devised by three brothers, whose essence, the taste of Bolivian cuisine and modernity of the XXI century is offered in seven outlets located in the city that never sleeps.
An ice cream huminta-flavored and another with api savor, one salteña with Cliza name, made with quinoa and smoked mushrooms and other spicy chicken sandwich and chola sandwich with vinegary red onions and carrots are some of the The most popular foods in Bolivian Llama Party.
Alex Oropeza, 35, Patrick Oropeza, 31, and David Oropeza, 24, are the three brothers -two of them born in the United States and one in Bolivia Cochabamba children of parents, Jorge and Erlinda, who migrated to the country north in 1977. They are the pioneers of modern Bolivian cuisine at the food stalls New York.
Each studied and worked in different professional fields, but it would be gastronomy, related to their family, that would unite the three craft.
“Bolivian Llama Party, as its name suggests, loves food and party, so we decided to combine both passions and open locations in Williamsburg, located in Brooklyn, and Far Rockaway, located in Queens,” the brothers have told Pagina Siete.
The project started in one of the most famous and exclusive fairs, called Smorgasburg, which were included in 2012.
Three principles rule The Bolivian Llama Party: good tasting food, fun party atmosphere and last but not least, impeccable customer service.
The taste in the blood
They have the premise that no matter the country of origin of the people or what they do, anyone can try a “bite” of Bolivia and feel part of the great Bolivian family in this place where you hear from folklore, such as the Kjarkas to “chicha”.
Their maternal grandmother had a business where chicha and chicharron [fried pork] were sold and now their aunts have El Herrero and The Garden Restaurant, located in Cochabamba.
“None of us thought that sell food on the streets and in the markets would be what we would dedicate to. It is interesting to see how our family history is linked in our present life, something for which we are grateful,” they explain.
Bolivia … present
The Bolivian Llama Party attracts young professionals, artists and tourists from all over the world who come to New York on holidays. The Bolivian community is small in New York, that is why they do not represent the majority of their clientele.
Each of the brothers has a specialty. Patrick studied philosophy and marketing at Northeastern University in Boston. “This degree helped him cook, focusing on a creative way, so it’s our culinary genius” describes Natalia Tamayo, cousin of the Oropeza brothers who collaborated with the interview.
For his part, David studied English marketing at Baruch College in New York; he is responsible for market and business operations.
Alex studied economics and finance at Boston University in Massachusetts, and is in charge of business and finance.
The inspiration and dishes
By starting with the business, grew their own quirquiña and huacataya, and ingredients obtained through family coming from Bolivia from time to time, which did not last long as the inputs did not reach them.
Currently, use dry quirquiña, panca, ground red pepper, dried oregano, and cumin powder Locoto; all these ingredients get them on their trips to Bolivia, specifically in “the cancha” [largest food market] in Cochabamba.
Also found ingredients to replace some of the inputs that are not available in the United States.
The brothers say that despite not having grown up in Bolivia, they were raised in the same traditions and customs. From childhood their favorite dishes were the donuts, api, silpancho, chili chicken, pork, humintas, etcetera. Here, more modern techniques, inspired their menu.
“Being a Bolivian in New York and have a business of Bolivian food is very special to us because we have the opportunity to give the Bolivians the voice they deserve in the greatest city in the world”, said in closing, the brothers.
From Bolivia with flavor
Chola costs sandwiches are priced at $12, the salteñas and Bolivian Llama Party style chips cost between five and eight dollars and soft drinks are sold in four dollars.
Kudos to the Oropeza brothers and welcome the Bolivian Llama Party to The Hall of Bolivian Fame!