Peruvian Cuisine: News & Information

mistura festival 2013

Tuesday, 10 September, 2013

Mistura is the largest gastronomic fair in Latin America and for Peruvians it is a great cultural festival. It leaves all Peruvians from all over without any distinction. Everyone is there to celebrate Peru’s amazing culinary tradition, biodiversity and in general to reaffirm Peru’s identity. This festival will take place in Lima, Peru from September 6-15.

It is tasty and colorful ten days in which the tradition of Peru is celebrated through the course of parades and dances. The guests all enjoy the various different tastes that Peruvian cuisine has to offer. This is the spirit of Mistura .

At the festival the guest will have the luxury of meeting the various links in the food chain. They are as followed: small farmers, cooks, bakers, food sellers , confectioners, waiters, restaurants, culinary schools, restaurants, and others, to pay tribute to Peru’s biodiversity, which is one of the richest in the world.

This effort is in addition the generous support of many culinary styles of different regions of Peru , as well as the European kitchens , Arabs, Chinese, Japanese and African , who have nurtured our cuisine making it one of the most unique and delicious in the world. Peruvians are extremely proud to put their cuisine on display for the world to see.

All are welcome to this great party to share the values that unite Peruvians for this special event. Celebrate , Share and Care are the guidelines by which Peruvians make their cuisine. It is an engine of inclusive development, cultural identity and social integration.

In Mistura you can find in one place different dishes from all peruvian regions. From the coast line, to the highland and even the jungle. Whether it s seafood, pasta, bake goods, desserts or drinks, it can all be found at Mistura.

Gaston Acurio and Peruvian Food Blow into the Windy City

Wednesday, 19 June, 2013

As Peruvian food is becoming more popular in the United States illustrious Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio is starting to open up restaurants around the country. Chicago is the next lucky city that will get to taste what all the hype is about. Currently Acurio has restaurants in the U.S. in both San Francisco and New York. This celebrated chef is the founder of Astrid Y Gaston in Peru, which is considered to be one of the top 50 restaurants in the world.

His restaurant “Tanta” in Chicago will have signature Peruvian dishes including various types of flavors of ceviche, Tiraditos, anticuchos, lomo saltodo and many other traditional Peruvian meals. Whether you already enjoy dining on Peruvian food or have never tried it before, Gaston Acurio’s restaurant will surely become one of your favorite places to dine.

If you have never heard of Gaston Acurio think of a Peruvian Emeril Legasse. Acurio is nothing short of a major celebrity in Peru and some may even consider him a hero, as Peruvians are very enthusiastic about the food and culture that Acurio is now spreading around the world.

Acurio’s restaurant uses the freshest and most authentic ingredients to ensure that you get the best experience possible. Acurio plans on importing the spices and sauces from Peru while supporting the local Chicago community by using their meats and fish. Of course Acurio will be serving a number of different drinks that incorporate the famous alcohol Pisco  that you will find people in Peru tipping back.

Chicagoans you better prepare for your pallets to be forever changed! Gaston Acurio is ready to show you what all the fuss about Peruvian food is about.

Creole sauce, the touch of flavor for every meal

Thursday, 25 April, 2013

Though we all know that Peruvian food it’s tasty, its dishes tend to share some flavors between them in the form of sauce. This is the most common one.

Salsa Criolla

Today we’ll learn how to prepare this delicious sauce, first of all we’ll need 2 red onions, 1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, 1 tea spoon of cilantro, 2 soup spoons of lime juice, 1 soup spoon of vinegar, salt and peppermint.

To prepare this sauce first we need to slice the onions in thin, long, half rings, keeping the natural soft curve of the onion itself and jalapeño peppers need to be sliced thin also. Then the onions need to be placed in salt water for about 10 minutes. After that time, wring out the onions and mix them with the other ingredients, without crunching and cover with plastic film for 30 minutes for it to stand at room temperature before serving.
This sauce can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Peruvian food is having a moment

Thursday, 4 April, 2013

By Cindy Y. Rodriguez

Peruvian Food(CNN) — More and more Americans are flocking to Peruvian food and discovering a world of flavor beyond pollo a la brasa (rotisserie chicken). This diverse cuisine, with influences from Andean to Spanish, Japanese and Chinese to African and Italian, is quickly finding its rightful place in the national food scene.

Credit is due in part to Gastón Acurio, the country’s most recognized chef, who acts as the unofficial ambassador of Peruvian cuisine with 34 restaurants in 14 cities worldwide, including the recently-opened La Mar Cebicheria in New York City. In 2008, Acurio, together with Apega, the Peruvian Society for Gastronomy founded Mistura. This 10-day food festival brings together street vendors, herbal stands and high-end chefs showcasing their most popular dishes and attracts over 300,000 every year.

Now, scaled-down versions of this event – complete with quinoa desserts, fresh bread, and traditional herbal drinks – are popping up outside of Peru.

“We were just walking around and saw everyone here dancing and selling food, so we popped in to see what was going on,” said Manhattan resident La La Brooks. “Now I’m eating some potatoes with this amazing sauce. I need to learn how to make this at home.”

Brooks was referring to a signature Peruvian dish, papa a la huancaina. It’s a spicy cheese sauce served over sliced potatoes and boiled eggs, typically served cold as a first course or appetizer, and she was enjoying it in the courtyard of St. Mark’s Church, one of the oldest churches in Manhattan.

The space was transformed into an Peruvian Andean market last Sunday, complete with arts, crafts, music and dance performances and, of course, food stands. El Mercadito Andino, which translates to the “The Andean Market” was organized by Abya Yala Arte y Cultura, a non-profit cultural organization deeply rooted in celebrating the cultural identity of the native communities of Latin America.

“Our focus for this market was to offer food that is commonly found in our Peruvian markets and homes, but not commonly found in Peruvian restaurants in New York,” said Ana Noriega, president of Abya Yala Arte y Cultura. Vendors also offered traditional Andean dishes like yaco chupe (green soup with a base of potato, cheese, garlic, coriander leaves, peppers and eggs) and yuyo verde con canchita (seaweed and Peruvian popcorn).

“Everyone is talking about Peruvian food now, but very few people know much more about it than cebiche and pisco sours,” Morena Escardó told NBCLatino. She’s the author of “The Everything Peruvian Cookbook” and blogs with her mother Moreno Cuadra at Peru Delights.

“Our cuisine is very complex, reflecting our long and multicultural history,” Escardó said, “We wanted people to learn this, so they can better understand our techniques and ingredients. “

Peruvians are one of the ten largest Latino population groups (making up more than half a million people) in the U.S., according to the Pew Hispanic Center. About 13% of Peruvians live in New York, and 15% in New Jersey – a statistic which might explain the presence of over 100 Peruvian restaurants in New York’s tri-state area.

Frommer’s picked Lima, Peru as their Top Food & Drink Destination of 2012 for their “cultural miscegenation – a rich stew of Spanish, African, Chinese and Japanese – is reflected in its culinary fusion” which could explain why the capital city has become a destination for food-focused tourists. For those who can’t make the journey, click through the gallery above to be inspired by Peruvian delights from yacochupe to alfajores.

Source: News Channel 5

Ceviche House, Florida’s First Peruvian Restaurant, Still Around After 30 Years

Saturday, 30 March, 2013

ceviche house ceviche 550

By Ily Goyanes

Ceviche House sits inside the longstanding Miller Square plaza on 137th Avenue and Miller Road. Serving up tallarin saltado, aji de gallina, chilcano, and of course, ceviche for over thirty years, owner Jose Lopez is responsible for bringing Peruvian cuisine to Florida. At one point Lopez had four restaurants in South Florida, but now he’s focused on his original location alone. “It’s very hard to find real Peruvian chefs,” he explains. Rather than skimp on authenticity, he closed a few of his locations.

One would expect that anointing his restaurant “Ceviche House” that the place would specialize in ceviche. There are eight types of ceviche on the menu, but unfortunately, the taste and quality don’t add up to a namesake restaurant.

We tried the ceviche de la casa ($24.95), which Lopez assured us was plentiful. We have to say that we’ve had better ceviche in several other places. The leche de tigre aka citrus marinade, was okay, not extremely flavorful or noteworthy. We took offense that the shrimp were already cooked, as were other seafood ingredients. Upon asking Luisa Marinel, chef and Lopez’s wife, she confirmed our suspicions. “Yes, they are steamed beforehand.”

The ingredients of a ceviche, be they shrimp, octopus, fish, and so on, are to be raw and then “cook” in the lime juice. Not only do we feel that this affected the flavor of the ceviche, but we found it disappointing that our homemade ceviche is better-tasting and more authentic than the one served at the first ceviche restaurant in Miami.

Fortunately, the parihuela ($14.95), or seafood soup, was savory and chunky with seafood, though not worth fifteen smackeroos. The lomo saltado ($11.50) was decent, prepared with churrasco instead of the usual palomilla, which enhanced our enjoyment of the otherwise nondescript dish.

Upon trying the desserts, we felt as if there should be a name change – Postre House would be a much better representation of what to look for inside.

After our comped meal, we were full, but not satisfied. Not so much because the food was average, but because we were expecting much better ceviche from a restaurant claiming to be the house of ceviche.

ceviche house lomo saltado 550

In Austin’s top food truck scene, a new Peruvian stands out

Wednesday, 13 March, 2013

by Betty CortinaPan Con Saltado

As the consummate conference of cool— SXSW—takes place in Austin this week, we continue our week-long exploration of Latin food and cooks in the Texas capital. Up today: a new food trailer hits the city’s already vibrant mobile food truck scene, proving what we’ve known all along—that Latin food in Texas is way more than tacos. Llama’s Food Trailer specializes in authentic, home-style Peruvian food with chef-y, sometimes vegetarian, sometimes gluten-free twists. Because this is Austin, after all.

The story of how Llama’s got its start is the stuff of immigrant nostalgia. A Peruvian-born, Texas-raised guy is so proud of his native food that he wants to find a way to share it with the world. Or at least with the city he lives in. “Like every Peruvian,” said 30-year-old Miguel Barrutia, “I dreamed of opening a Peruvian restaurant to teach people about our food.” But a bricks-and-mortar restaurant would have taken big money and “that wasn’t in my plan.” Instead Barrutia, who also works in local real estate, decided to start with a food truck, which would minimize overhead costs but still let him get up and running. He tapped into friends for help—a friend’s sister created the company’s logo and designed marketing materials, another friend guided him through the food truck inspection process—and into his childhood memories of home cooked meals for ideas on what to serve. He hired local cooks and taught them to make “classics like aji de gallina and arroz con pollo and lomo saltado,” he said. “And they were great.”

But with in a few months of opening, a game-changer walked in. Julio Cesar Florez was a 33-year-old chef who’d been trained at Le Cordon Blue and who’d worked in several highly respected Austin kitchens. Most important: he too was a Peruvian-born ex-pat who dreamed of sharing his country’s food with everyone around him. He approached Barrutia and just few months later joined Llama’s as its chef.

llamastruckFlorez quickly made adjustments to the menu, adding sandwiches like the ones he ate as a boy in Lima on the days his he’d go to work with his dad. “We’d stop into this tiny little place and we’d order a pan con chicharron, which is a classic Peruvian street food sandwich,” he said. “I wanted something similar to that so I created a pork belly sandwich for Llama’s.” Ever the chef, his is no regular sandwich of course: the pork is marinated in hoisin sauce, topped with pickled onions and an aji amarillo mayonnaise. Florez also took the ever popular lomo saltado and made it mobile by turning it into a sanguche (yes, that’s a sandwich, like abuela pronounced it.) Llama’s still serves the traditional aji de gallina, chicken stewed in a creamy aji amarillo sauce, but it’s also added some more adventurous options, like anticuchos, or grilled beef hearts. “Some people are a little uncertain about that at first,” Florez says. “But when they try it they absolutely love it.”

As out there as they can be, Florez and Barrutia still understand their Austin market. So “a lot of our dishes can be made vegetarian and even gluten-free,” Florez said. More proof that they get Austin: Tonight, for SXSW, they’re hosting a “Secret Party”—because isn’t that just what hipsters do?—where a DJ will play tunes and attendees will get to sample Peruvian treats. (You can get details here.) Llamas is located 611 Trinity.

llamasowners

Peru Food Festival is a “gastronomical, cultural” introduction – Bravo

Monday, 11 March, 2013

By Samie Al-Dulaimi
KUWAIT, March 11 (KUNA) —

Peru - Kuwait meetingThe Embassy of Peru in Kuwait hopes the Peruvian Food Festival would give the Kuwaiti public a taste of the South American country’s diverse landscape, culture, and love for food and life.
“The is the best opportunity to introduce our country to Kuwait. The embassy opened in November, 2011 and this is the biggest cultural event we have had (so far)”, Charge d’Affaires ad interim Gustavo Bravo told KUNA at the launch of the six-day event, on Sunday evening.
“The event is not only gastronomical but also cultural”, he said, referring to a group of professional dancers who were flown in specifically to perform the traditional elegant and colorful ‘Marinera’ dance. Preparing the food is renowned Peruvian chef Javier Morante, who was also flown in to Kuwait for the event.
The festival is being organized by the JW Marriot Hotel in collaboration with the Embassy of Peru and Kuwait’s National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters.
Peru is recognized for its culinary tours, food safaris, world class cooking schools, and food fiestas – including the Mistura Food Festival. It also recently won the award for the world’s leading culinary destination at the World Travel Awards.
At the entrance, visitors to the festival were handed a glass of Chicha Morada, a dark sweet refreshing syrup-like drink consumed cold since ancient times, and which is the result of boiling purple corn with pineapple, cinnamon, clove, and sugar.
As for food, the oblong-shaped Tacu tacu – a mixture of beans and rice, fried and topped with breaded and pan-fried steak and an onion salsa – was both delicious and scrumptious.
Other popular local dishes on the buffet included Fish Ceviche, Lomo Saltado (sauteed beef), and Pulpo al Olivo (octopus in black olive sauce).
“We have coasts, highlands, and the Amazon,” said Bravo, noting the three geographic regions that support the variety of ingredients found in Peruvian cuisine.
Located in western South America, Peru borders five countries; Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia. It has no doubt taken influences from each. It also benefits from having the Pacific Ocean to its west, with seafood playing a major role in its culinary dishes.
Ancient cultures that once thrived in Peru like the Norte Chico civilization, the Incas, and the Spanish Empirehave also had their imprint on its food.
By way of encouragement of Kuwaiti tourists to visit his homeland, Bravo described Peru as a “safe country” where one of the world’s wonders, the ancient 15th century Inca city of Machu Picchu, is located. “We have natural resources as well as modern cities.” The capital, Lima, is inhabited by seven million people, and though it is big, it is an organized city – and it is safe, said the diplomat.
“We receive around three million tourists every year and this number is increasing. Lately, we have been encouraging the visit of tourists from the Middle East, since hosting the last summit between Arab and South American countries in October, 2011.” “We have recently signed an agreement with Kuwait for the exemption of visas for diplomatic and special passports, which has now entered into force.
“In the case of Kuwaitis planning to travel to Peru, they need basic documents to show they are travelling for tourism reasons, like booking and hotel reservations. The Consular section at the embassy currently provides all of these facilities.” As for applying for a visa, he said arrangements are made over the phone with the required documents sent by e-mail followed by a short interview, he pointed out.

Tanta Brings a Peruvian Superstar’s Food to Chicago

Friday, 8 March, 2013

by Penny Pollack and Graham MeyerTanta

The star stallion in chef Gastón Acurio’s stable of restaurants is Astrid y Gastón, a spot in Lima, Peru, that last year placed second-highest of all South American restaurants (#35 overall) in the San Pellegrino 50 Best rankings. At about the end of June, the newest foal will be Tanta (118 W. Grand Ave., no phone yet). It’s Acurio’s first Chicago outpost for his New Peruvian cuisine and only his third in the United States, after versions of La Mar Cebichería in New York and San Francisco.

Veronica Beckman, one of Acurio’s local partners, says Peruvian food arises from both the confluence of biomes—Amazon, desert, mountains, ocean—and the eclectic immigration patterns, with Spanish, African, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Italian influences. “The biodiversity and cultural heritage mash together to create what Peruvian food is,” she says.

Some spices and Acurio’s sauces will be imported from Peru, but fresh fish and even the distinctive ají pepper will be sourced from closer to Chicago. Tiraditos, cebiche (a.k.a. seviche), anticuchos, and Chinese-influenced dishes such as lomo saltado and arroz chaufa typify the menu. Naturally, the distinctively Peruvian spirit pisco features on the drink menu.

Beckman says she’s excited to introduce Chicagoans to a Peru they haven’t seen here—although that doesn’t extend so far as the famously Peruvian dish of guinea pig. “We’re not planning to have that on the menu,” she says. “Not just yet.”

Why Miami Food Lovers Should Know Who Gaston Acurio Is

Wednesday, 27 February, 2013

 by Trina Sargalski

If you don’t know who Gaston Acurio is, chances are you will soon. The Peruvian chef, who is arguably the face of Peruvian cuisine both in his home country and around the world, visits Miami this weekend for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Perhaps he will also work on setting up a new restaurant;he has stated in several media outlets that he has plans to open a restaurant in Miami.

In addition to being an ambassador of Peruvian cuisine around the world, Acurio is a cookbook author and advocate of Peruvian food traditions. He has opened more than thirty Peruvian restaurants around the world.

A cursory and completely unofficial survey of Peruvians and food-lovers in Miami revealed that familiarity with Acurio is still uneven.

We would have liked to have asked Acurio personally about his work, but an ambassador for Peruvian food has much to do, especially while preparing to leave the country for the South Beach Wine & Food Festival–he declined our request for an interview.

Nevertheless, we’d like to share with you why Miami should know who Gaston Acurio is — and why we think it soon will:

His restaurant, Astrid & Gaston, is rated one of the top in the world.

The restaurant Acurio runs with his wife, Astrid Gutsche, has been acknowledged asone of the fifty best in the world. Acurio’s restaurant empire includes branches of his La Mar restaurants in San Francisco and New York.

Michelle-Bernstein-tiradito_0

Ferran Adria says so…

Adria was chef at the now-closed El Bulli, which was declared the best restaurant in the world five times.  He is arguably the most famous  in the world.

Acurio and Adria worked together on a 2012 documentary,“Peru Sabe (Peru Knows): Cuisine as an Agent of Social Change” about the reappraisal of Peruvian culture and gastronomy, both by Peruvians and outsiders.

“God has spoken,” Adria said, “The future of gastronomy is in Peru. I want the world to know what’s happening there.”

Adria has spoken.

Peruvians are an increasingly large part of our community and so they play a growing part in Miami’s food scene.

Miami-Dade County is currently home to the largest concentration of Peruvians in the United States, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.  Over the past ten years, the Peruvian population of Miami-Dade has grown by almost 75%.

Miami chef Michelle Bernstein is a big fan of Peruvian cuisine:

“In the last decade, the greatest trend that I have seen in South Florida restaurants is most definitely that of Peruvian cuisine; more specifically ceviches and tiraditos.”

Maria Murriel, a columnist for SouthFlorida.com, moved to Miami when she was 11:

“When we moved here, we felt like the Latin immigrants here were very much Caribbean. There’s a very different feel between Latin cultures closer to the Atlantic and those closer to the Pacific.”

Hispanic restaurants and groceries didn’t offer the Peruvian products they missed. Now Murriel notices that, as the Peruvian population increases, so do Peruvian groceries and restaurants.

There are 97 Peruvian restaurants in South Florida, according to South Florida Menu Pages. To give some perspective, the sites lists 244 Cuban and 3 Indonesian eateries. The site isn’t completely comprehensive–it leaves out smaller neighborhood spots without a digital presence and some other restaurants with Peruvian touches that are considered “Nuevo-Latino.”

Hamachi-a-la-Brasa_0Mary Benton, an artist who lived in Peru for several years, just moved to Miami with her husband: “Generally speaking, when we mention when we’ve lived in Peru, everyone here has a favorite Peruvian restaurant they recommend.”

Murriel says she feels a “fierce pride” about what she thinks is becoming a more influential cuisine. She wrote an article last year about how she observed the Peruvian spirit pisco popping up on more cocktail menus: “Even up in Palm Beach County, people were having pisco cocktails and I was really surprised.”  Her Peruvian relatives used to have to bring her father Pisco when they visited because it was so hard to find in Miami.

Chef Jose Luis Herrera points to his go-to-guy, Gaston Acurio

Chef Jose Luis Herrera points to his go-to-guy, Gaston Acurio

The global push for Peruvian culture.

Besides the general pride Peruvians here feel about their homeland, there has been a greater push to appreciate Peru’s cultural resources from within the country as well, and Gaston Acurio has been part of it.

In an interview for Ask Men, Acurio said,

We were trained over the last 200 years to think of ourselves as importing culture and exporting commodities. With food, we’re proving that this doesn’t have to be the case; we can invent, create and gift to the world what we are.

Chefs and food advocates in Peru, including Acurio,  started the MISTURA/APEGA gastronomic festival, an impressive multi-day celebration of the various food cultures of Peru–including Andean, Amazonian, Japanese and Chinese.

Acurio is also part of the general push to share broader Peruvian culture, beyond cuisine, with the rest of the world.

One example is an engaging marketing video created by the International Peru Country Brand. Ambassadors from Peru, including Gaston Acurio, visit and share their culture with people in Peru, Nebraska.

In one of my favorite moments in the video, Peruvian chef Christian Bravo hollers over a megaphone to the residents of Peru, Nebraska: “You are from Peru! You have the right to eat delicious food!”

You can also see the video at the North Miami Beach restaurant, Mixtura, which plays Peruvian promotional videos on its TVs. Local Peruvian restaurants often feature the official logo of Peru, with a swirling “P” similar to the Nazca lines, on their menus or websites.

Jose Luis Herrera, the Peruvian head chef at Mixtura, sees Acurio as the leader and the most visible face of a movement that includes all Peruvian chefs and restaurants–and he mentions other chefs like Javier Wong and the late Teresa Izquierdo–who “fight the battle” for Peruvian gastronomy:

“Acurio was the pioneer. He dared to show the world what Peruvian cuisine is today. Now, wherever you go–France, China, Japan–you can find ceviche or you can find Peruvian touches. In addition, in other kinds of restaurants here–say in a French restaurant–you might find a ceviche. It will be their own interpretation, but it’s still a ceviche. That’s incredible.”

Michelle Bernstein agrees that Acurio brought many of the chefs, cuisines and food traditions of Peru into the spotlight. She definitely thinks people in South Florida should know who Acurio is by now:

“We should thank and respect the great Gaston Acurio for putting these foods on the map, making them more approachable, more conceivable and more delicious. As far as I’m concerned, if you don’t know who Gaston is, you shouldn’t be making these dishes to begin with.”

Now that you know who he is, go make a ceviche or some tallarines saltados.