¡En enero de 2016 el Metro de Medellín publicó dos artículos sobre Vía Cocina – Food Train en sus periódicos ‘Nuestro Metro‘ y ‘Nuestro Tranvía de Ayacucho y sus Dos Cables‘! También fue publicado el 1 de febrero en El Mundo con el título ‘Cocina internacional en Miraflores’!
In January 2016 the Medellin Metro published two articles about Vía Cocina – Food Train in their ‘Nuestro Metro‘ and ‘Nuestro Tranvía de Ayacucho y sus Dos Cables‘ newspapers! It was also published on February 1st 2016 in the El Mundo newspaper in Medellín (photos above)! Below is a translation of the extended ‘Nuestro Metro‘ version:
Brian Wants to Teach People to Eat Healthy
Miraflores has a new neighbour and it’s not the tranvía. It’s a foreigner: Brian Johnston, who although born in Toronto, has travelled to more than 70 countries thanks to his volunteer work with various NGOs and now he’s decided to base himself in Medellín.
He arrived in the city a little more than two years ago out of curiosity, after hearing good things from travellers around the world. He loved the culture, the easy access to events and he saw a big opportunity in the city to share what he knows about gastronomy and cuisine from different countries, especially with low income communities so they can learn to prepare healthy food at low costs.
“What you generally find in the streets here is a lot of fried foods, which is why we see problems with obesity, diabetes and cholesterol. I have knowledge of many cuisines from around the world and I want to help locals experience other delicious flavours that also improve their health”, says Brian.
With this in mind, his current project is to prepare a recently acquired house near Miraflores station, in the Ayacucho corridor, and with his personal resources and the assistance of Grand Challenges Canada, train low income community members recipes from other parts of the world so that in addition to learning to cook healthy, they have the possibility to improve or create their own business.
“I want to realize my social project with low income communities, focused on healthy food at low costs”, says Brian as he walks through what used to be a traditional house in Miraflores and today is being transformed to bring his dream to life. The only thing preserved from the old house at this moment is the facade, but that too will change. Brian designed each space of what he calls Vía Cocina – Food Train. Little by little the bricks, stairs and walls are taking form with the idea that Brian has clear in his mind and in the design plans that he had in hand while directing the workers who are constructing his space.
“When people visit here they’ll find community members selling food from other countries at very affordable prices. Additionally I’ll be organizing doors closed activities where participants will enjoy fine ethnic cuisine, special events where they can learn about other cultures and my experiences in these countries over a number of hours, taking into account the operating hours of the tranvía so they can benefit from this new transportation option”, he explains.
Brian doesn’t lack enthusiasm. He can’t wait to have his space ready and initiate Vía Cocina, one of many projects and initiatives that make Ayacucho attractive for more than the Tranvía, and little by little help position the neighbourhood as a hot spot for gastronomy, tourism, arts, culture and mobility.
Herbs in the house
The third floor of Brian’s house is constructed with a terrace where he will plant some of the products that he uses to prepare recipes from around the world. Natural chemical-free products.
For him, all countries have nutritional recipes, but some attract him more for their stamp of health such as China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. Brian explains that in these countries everything is based on diverse preparations of vegetables. “In these places meat is also eaten, but not in huge portions accompanied by fried foods. What I noticed when learning to cook these products is that they often used a lot of salt and sugar, which is unnecessary when we know how to replace these products with combinations of ingredients that generate the same flavours and sensations.”