We contracted the complete design of our 1,500 square foot cooking facility before we designed our building. We told the designer not to worry about what the building would impose on the
kitchen. Instead, we assured him that we intended to impose the kitchen on the building. We asked that the best possible kitchen be conceived and designed and we would build the building around it.
That’s what we did. Once the design was finished, we had it fabricated, containerized and shipped down from the United States. In the mean time we commissioned the restaurant design to be
wrapped around the kitchen and built all of the support spaces and work areas necessary to compliment our new kitchen, the cooking engine of Latitude 42º.
Our guest areas in the restaurant were populated
with custom designed furniture using woods and fabrics selected to create the atmosphere we believe our guests would desire. We also, for example, designed, selected and used the same wood for the
furniture and flooring. This assured that our furniture would not scratch and mar the floors given their common hardness. We commissioned local artists to provide pieces we believed representative of
the area and that are pleasing to the eye. We were among the first to combine wood, volcanic rock and copper-three naturally available building blocks in Chile-into major design components. Eventually, all
of our plans and efforts came together to become our 10,000 square foot Latitude 42º Restaurant.
We made the decision to create one of the best, if not the best, restaurant in Chile. We knew that it
would not be an easy task. Our location, right in the foothills of the Andes, far from a highly skill labor force, reliable supply lines and the specialty items one expects in the “best of
class” establishments, meant that we would have to “fill in the blanks” in a number of important areas.
The good news was that, being located in the south of Chile near both fresh and
salt water plus the local influence of early German settlers, we would have an abundance of dairy products, fresh meats, fish, shell fish, smoked meats and a variety of sausages and specialty meat
We decided to build housing and living quarters for the restaurant talent we would have to recruit from outside the local area as far north as Santiago and beyond, who would be essential to
achieve our goals. Some of those recruits would also have to be instructors with the ability to train local individuals to the level necessary and in a variety of specialties. As in the case of our
wine specialists, we sent those we believed teachable north to technical schools and wineries for instruction. We were fortunate that one of those individuals rose to become the number two sommelier in the
entire country of Chile. He, together with our manager, Mr. Paul Kinney, is responsible for amassing our well-known wine cellar.
After designing and planting our herb and spice garden, it became
clear that a number of fresh vegetables were never going to be available or, if available, would be so on an unpredictable basis. This included certain flowers that we wished to include in our rooms, on
our tables, for decorative purposes on our plates and in our salads. Thus, the need for our own a garden and gardeners was born. But, we thought, if we are going to create a garden, why settle
for an ordinary garden? And, if not an ordinary garden, why not an create an organic garden? We decided, if we are going to commit to do all of this, why not undertake a small organic
farm with supporting cold frames, greenhouses and mechanized equipment to make it the best in the region? So we did.
With this decision in hand, the first order of business was to make a list of the
types and kinds of things that we wanted to produce in our garden, use in our kitchen and, most importantly place on the table for our guests. The next challenge was where to obtain the seeds and how to
fertilize and build the quality of the local soils. As with most things in life, once one identifies what one needs then the thing needed began showing up.
One day we were hosting a very large group
of people in the restaurant. I inquired about the nature of the gathering. It turned out to be a meeting of the largest seed purveyor in Chile. I asked one of the participants if the president
of the company were in attendance. He was. I introduced myself and asked if he would mind looking at my seed list. He agreed and the rest is history. His company is able to provide every
seed, except for one type of tomato. He grows seeds, not only in Chile, but also in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, in eastern Washington State and other seed producing areas around in the world. He
was very happy to help because many of these vegetables are not normally grown in Chile, especially in the South of Chile whose climate is much like that of the Pacific North West. We and he have helped
many local clients develop a taste for vegetable products that they have not had the opportunity to experience elsewhere.
We now compost everything. This includes plant material we trim and prune on
the grounds of Yan Kee Way Lodge. We also frequently send one of our trucks, with a trailer, to the ocean where we collect seaweed. If you are on a sport adventure and see a small trailer behind your
vehicle, the driver will be filling the trailer up with seaweed while you are off on your adventure. We bring the seaweed back to the lodge and rinse it in the lake. This removes some of the excess
saltwater to avoid, over the long term, increases in soil salinity. We sun dry it, mulch it and add it to the soil. The local barnyards and pastures provide us with additional natural fertilizers for our
crops. Our plants really love growing up around here!
If you have previously traveled around in South America, you are aware that finding fresh vegetables is almost impossible. And when you do, you
are reluctant to eat them for fear of what might result. Here at Yan Kee Way Lodge you know how they have been planted, watered and raised. When eating at Latitude 42º Restaurant you may eat your fresh
vegetables, herbs and, yes, even the decorative floral accents without a second thought---other than how beautiful they look and taste! This includes the variety of fresh herbs we offer when our guests
request a freshly brewed herbal tea.