Eating at Leo is to venture on a journey through Colombia and its flavors. Each dish in this restaurant is inspired by Colombian tradition, its idiosyncrasy, and the biodiversity of the Colombian land. It is in this kitchen that Leonor Espinosa, its chef, forged her way, dish by dish, to be awarded in 2022 as the Best Female Chef in the World by The World's Best 50, the worldwide ranking that decides which restaurants, and which chefs, reach the top of gastronomy.

Leonor Espinosa /
Credits: Leonor Espinosa /

Betting on a tasting menu made up of 100% of Colombian ingredients and inspired by the different regions of the country, Leo's menu integrates products native to Colombia's rural areas, reinterpreting ancestral dishes and recipes from different communities and turning them into avant-garde dishes with unprecedented flavors for the world.

This award is undoubtedly a recognition not only of his techniques and trajectory but a sample of the potential of Colombian gastronomy. Our variety of ingredients, enriched by the multiple traditions of our regions, can reach the world by showing what we eat in the most welcoming country in the world.

Leo, a restaurant with a taste of Colombia:

Plato de Restaurante Leo Espinosa
Credits: Leonor Espinosa / Instagram

Leonor Espinosa's gastronomic style is defined as cultural gastronomy based on finding innovative ways to incorporate species rarely used in modern cuisine through avant-garde techniques.

Leo offers an exclusive tasting menu of eight (8) or thirteen (13) courses made up of dishes representative of the different regions of Colombia (Great Colombian Caribbean, Colombian Pacific, Eastern Colombian Andes, Western Colombian Andes, Colombian Massif, Colombian Amazon-Orinoco); Leonor Espinosa explains that the objective of her restaurant is to make a gastronomic journey through the ingredients and unprecedented flavors that represent Colombia through a sum of bites, each one of which has a gastronomic experience that should be enjoyed with curiosity, patience, willingness to enjoy and from discovery.

The menu includes flavors such as sour yucca, pirarucu and mojojoy oil from the Amazon, goat from La Guajira, mussels from the Caribbean, salt from Manaure, pork from the savannah, cocoa from Tumaco, wild cabbage, oregano from the desert, melipona honey, Colombian ants, trout, loquat, among many others.

The restaurant also has its foundation called FUNLEO, which focused on the preservation of Colombian heritage and works for the welfare of the communities that safeguard our traditions.

What is FunLeo's social work?

Fundacion Leo Espinosa
Credits: Leonor Espinosa / Fundación Leo Espinosa / Instagram

FUNLEO was born from the premise that biodiversity and innovation are the fundamental engines of the development of Colombian gastronomy. Not only the traditional component is necessary for the development of cuisine, but the world also moves through innovation and Colombia was not going to be left behind.

The vocation to preserve the natural and intangible heritage of Leonor Espinosa and her daughter Laura Hernández-Espinosa (LEO's sommelier and the chef's right-hand woman) has led FUNLEO towards the search for the well-being of Colombian populations through cuisine, understanding that gastronomy is an important engine of social and economic development for these communities.

One of FUNLEO's most important works has taken place in Coquí, Chocó, where it seeks to highlight nationally and internationally the flavors of the area that represent the culture and ancestral traditions of the Colombian Pacific, attract tourists with the gastronomy of the region and seek transformation based on the guidelines of responsibility and sustainability.

For more than a decade, the foundation has worked closely with international cooperation agencies, governmental organizations, and NGOs to achieve this goal, promoting a food culture that values the potential of traditional cuisine, biodiversity, and national identities.

We are honored to have the best female chef in the world, but above all, Leonor Espinosa, the cook, the traveler, the woman whose mettle and curiosity was able not only to express all the vitality, the variety, the magic of each of our regions in her cuisine but also works to preserve not only the places that are the origin of the ingredients she uses but the ecosystems and places that are home to people whose tradition is the basis of Colombian gastronomy.

Regions of Colombia that inspire and nourish Leo Espinosa's menu:

Taller Gastronómico - Leo Espinosa
Credits: Leonor Espinosa / Fundación Leo Espinosa / Instagram

Leonor Espinosa at some point stated that "Colombia is the country of a thousand cuisines, thanks to the mega diversity and cultural miscegenation". The biodiversity of Colombia is so great that you could eat a dish with different ingredients for a whole year without the need to repeat. Leo is aware of this, and it is for this reason that the best chef in the world has delved deep into each of our regions to discover and reinterpret flavors and traditions that result in unique recipes, and extremely rich culturally and gastronomically speaking, dishes that invite you to travel and learn about the places they come from.

Some of the recipes that are inspired by the biodiversity and majesty of the regions of Colombia are:

  • Great Colombian Caribbean:

Fish wrap, titoté, and snail rice, breadcrumb cone, crab and olive pearls, braised octopus with corozo, yuyo and asparagus, smoked chicken sancochito, green plantain and yam, roasted pork ribs, icaco and pearl barley, grilled Angus, guajira salt, yuyo and purple corn, the baby goat with arracacha, peas and sweet pepper, iced kola cream, sponge cake, and banana pícaro.

  • Colombian Pacific:

Cow tail with mañoco, yucca, and chiyangua, lemonade stones, coconut, banana ice cream, achín jelly, and guayusa.

  • Eastern Colombian Andes:

Tuna with Colombian ants, pipilongo, guandú, and sugar cane honey, Santander cocoa balloon, titoté, and sesame seeds with cream ice cream.

  • Western Colombian Andes:

Achira tamalito with pork hogao.

  • Colombian Massif:

Arrechón ice cream, sapote gel, arazá and Caucan cocoa.

  • Colombian Amazon-Orinoco:

Mussels with purslane, coconut and Amazonian chili, palm heart of Putumayo, paipano, and nutmeg.

Discover a different way to travel through the regions of the most welcoming country in the world: through the flavors that represent them. Travel and enjoy Colombia!

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