First-time food-loving visitors to Chile should book a seat at Motemei, a gastronomic “workshop” in the fancy Vitacura neighbourhood of Santiago. Chefs Patricio Caceres Perez and Jennifer Crew create staunchly patriotic menus of all-local ingredients and wines. Guests enter through a lounge space of vintage adornments — gilded mirror, fruitwood dresser, framed photos — and take a seat around an island bench in a commercial kitchen to watch their meals being made. The menu, seven courses paired with national wines, might start with plump, blackbordered oysters from Chiloe Island. Then Caceres adds an iodine-rich dusting of dried piure (a very ugly sea squirt) that totally transforms the oysters. There’s a mushroom and sea urchin dish, and a mini choripan — the spicy sausage-in-bread snack loved by Chilenos — served with a classic beer chaser. Desserts feature the same emphasis on pure, endemic flavours which includes chocolate. “It’s a small culinary journey,” Caceres says. “We are proud to be Chilean.” The Motemei Experience costs about 70,000 Chilean peso ($142) a person with drinks matched to each course. More: motemei.cl.