A deep-rooted tradition

Meat sizzling, fires blazing, and people sharing tales, the asado (barbecue) is a quintessential Chilean experience. As much about socialising as it is about cooking, the tradition is deeply rooted in the wild Patagonia region. The asado originated as baqueanos (cowboys) gathered to feast and celebrate the end of sheep shearing season or rounding up the cattle. It was a way the men could relax, replenish and reflect after weeks away from home working on the remote land. Today asados are still held to mark rural events and to keep cowboy traditions alive.

Patagonian speciality

A typical Patagonian asado sees whole lamb tied to a metal cross and cooked upright over a woodfire. The skill of the asado (the person who cooks) lies in barbequing the meat slowly over a constant heat. The end result is a crisp exterior and meltingly tender interior. Patagonian lamb is a Chilean delicacy, its grass diet and free-range lifestyle making it lean and full of flavour.

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Share wine and stories over the BBQ

More meat

Lamb isn’t the only meat that makes it on to the BBQ. Large slices of beef are seasoned with salt and slow roasted, while parillas (metal grills) are lined with long racks of ribs, offal, and spicy sausages.

Free flowing wine

The wine flows freely and the only accompaniments needed are bread, tomato, onion salad and pebre (spicy Chilean salsa) and great company.

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Your Chile Expert


John Stanley

Santiago soul

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