Cassava (yuca): Colombia’s gift to the world

Dr. Gerry O’Brien shared with us the details of his 30-year relationship with cassava, while Chef Dairo López complemented it by sharing with us some yuca recipes.

Event held on Wednesday 8th of June 2022 – 6:30pm BST on Zoom.

About this event:

Cassava is a drought-tolerant and robust starchy root crop that serves as a dietary staple in a number of tropical countries, and has saved countless millions of lives. However, under certain circumstances it can cause illness, disability and even death.

Dr. Gerry O’Brien studied Food Science up to PhD level in the UK,and is currently a Lecturer in Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University (Newcastle-upon-Tyne) in England.

He talked about his long association with cassava, which he has studied in Africa, in South America, and most recently in South-east Asia. Most important for him among those different places has been Colombia, where he spent most of the 1990s working as a cassava researcher at the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), which hosts the world’s cassava germplasm collection.

Since his CIAT days, he has taught Food Science and Nutrition at universities in four different continents, and has carried out research in a wide range of topics including fruit juice processing, nutrition and brain-function, and the anti-cancer properties of certain foods.

Nevertheless, like a dear old friend, cassava just keeps calling him back.

Dairo López is a professional chef from Santa Marta – Colombia living in London .

He has worked for 7 years at Selfridges – Oxford Street restaurants, where he was sponsored to complete his studies in Culinary Arts Kitchen and Larder at Westminster Kingsway College in London. He currently works as Sous Chef for BaxterStorey which is based at UBS Bank in London.

After 5 years working as a private chef, he has decided to promote a new concept of Modern Colombian cuisine, running The Colombian Supper Club in some restaurants and private events.

To contact him:

IG @chefdairolopez