With a swag of global restaurant awards and praise by leading chefs and travel guides, Peru is fast becoming one of the world’s top foodie destinations, with Lima as its gastronomic capital.
With influences from the Incas, Asia, Europe and elsewhere, there is a food revolution happening in Peru and it seems that international visitors are flocking to Lima to experience it.
In September last year the Wall Street Journal said that Peruvian food is “the next big thing” on the lips of chefs worldwide, Frommers named Lima as the “top food and drink destination” for 2012 and The Huffington Post has predicted that a Peruvian ceviche dish “is set to become the dish of 2012.” Internationally renowned chef Ferran Adria of El Bulli has pronounced that “the future of gastronomy is being cooked up in Peru,” and The Food Channel suggest that “Groovin’ on Peruvian” is one of the top 10 trends for 2012.
Why is this all happening? Many say that it is Peru’s most famous chef Gaston Acurio leading the charge. His flagship restaurant in Lima, ‘Astrid & Gaston’ was named one of the World's 50 Best Restaurants by Restaurant Magazine for the second consecutive year and he has recently started taking his message about Peruvian cuisine global. He has opened restaurants across South America and more recently in New York and San Francisco. Acurio also collaborated with none other than Ferran Adria to make a documentary, Peru Sabe, about Peruvian cuisine and culture.
Yet, there are a number of other Peruvian chefs who are following in his footsteps and making a name for themselves internationally. One such chef is Rafael Osterling who is quickly climbing the ladder in global chef rankings. His three restaurants: "Rafael" and "El Mercado” in Lima and "Rafael" in Bogotá were recently named the best Peruvian restaurants by Travel + Leisure. Also, he won the Summun Award two years in a row as best restaurant in Peru.
Osterling was also the first Peruvian to receive the Gourmand World Cookbook Award for his book 'Rafael, El Chef' in the chef category. The book is a compilation of a hundred of his best recipes, transforming native Peruvian foods, ingredients and cooking techniques into world-influencing dishes.
Other top chefs opening restaurants around the world include:
Virgilio Martinez, of Lima’s Central, is about to open London’s first Peruvian fine-dining restaurant called Lima, and is in charge of Senzo, at Orient Express’ Palacio Las Nazarenas new property in Cusco.
Jaime Pesaque, chef of Mayta who also opened Nuna in Punta del Este, Uruguay and designed the menu of the new restaurant Raymi in Manhattan.
Pedro Miguel Schiaffino of Lima’s Malabar, Amaz, known for promoting Amazonian products to the world by creating unique menus such as the one served on the MV Aqua riverboat.
Rafael Piqueras, the first Peruvian chef to go to Madrid Fusion, and head Chef of Maras at the Westin Lima Hotel.
Alejandro Saravia who recently opened Sydney’s Morena, after spending his first few years in Australia working at Pier Restaurant, Salon Blanc, Opera Bar and Sails Restaurant at Lavender.
All over the world people are hearing about Peruvian food and more and more visitors are travelling to the destination to experience it for themselves. Culinary day tours in Lima, multi -day foodie safaris and cooking schools are becoming increasingly popular to complement the already popular archaeological and cultural journeys.
Later this year leading Australian chefs, Peter Gilmore and Dan Hunter will be visiting Peru to participate in the annual gourmet show Mistura. Now in its fifth year, this annual event, organised by the Peruvian Society of Gastronomy, highlights the very best of Peru’s identity. It brings together key players of national and international cuisine to promote and celebrate Peru’s unique and booming gastronomy. Mistura 2012 is aiming to attract a record 500,000 visitors to try the products and attend cultural and gastronomic events and lectures with keynote speakers, cooking demonstrations, cultural performances and dances.
For more information on Peru, please visit www.peru.travel
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