Destination weddings are typically to places like Martha’s Vineyard and the Bahamas. My childhood friend Ben had other ideas, inviting friends and family to join him in Cali, Colombia, near where his wife Karol spent her childhood. The couple showcased regional Colombian food the entire weekend, including at their wedding reception. For their rehearsal dinner, Ben selected Platillos Voladores, a sprawling, art-lined Cali restaurant from chef-owner Vicky Acosta Cruz adheres to clear voladores – values in English) – promoting local cuisine and ingredients in both traditional and creative ways.
Pescado Chontaduro (55,000 pesos ~ $17) featured cherna, a white fish from the Pacific Ocean that also goes by wreckfish or stone bass. In this case, Chef Cruz blankets flaky fillets with con salsa de chontaduro y mermelada de aji (chontaduro sauce and garlic marmalade). Chontaduro is a local palm tree fruit that’s judiciously sweet, with a firm pumpkin like texture, and pitted before serving. The vivid sauce beautifully complemented the savory fish.