On Tuesday 10 September, National Geographic Traveller (UK) hosted its eighth Travel Geeks event of the year, sponsored by Travelbag, about all things Latin American food.

Part of a series of informal after-work get-togethers, the event took place at the Wallacespace venue in Clerkenwell, London. More than 80 travel enthusiasts came along to find more about this varied cuisine while snacking on plantain chips and sipping pisco sour.

Sitting on the panel were chef Martin Morales, founder of the London-based Peruvian restaurants Ceviche, Andina and Casa Andina; Nori Jemil, travel photographer and writer; Morales Alameh, sales consultant at Travelbag; Russell Maddicks, travel writer; and Glen Mutel, editor of National Geographic Traveller Food.

The topics discussed during the evening ranged from the reasons behind the recent boom of Peruvian cuisine (a great variety of produce and a more stable political and social scene, according to Martin Morales) to the most memorable ceviches (raw fish with sea cucumber and ketchup, if you ask Russell Maddicks).

While each expert had a different traditional food to recommend, from pastel de choclo to tamales, they all agreed on one thing: Latin American food is considerably more varied than most people expect. If you have the chance to travel to the region, leave everything you know at home — visit local markets, see what other people are ordering and always keep an open mind.

Find out more about our upcoming events on the National Geographic Traveller website.

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