For those who know me personally, my familia is from Peru. No, I wasn’t born in South America so I don’t have much of a connection, except when I was growing up we would travel back to visit our cousins. “Hola Primas y Primos”
Lima is fast developing its reputation as Latin America’s culinary capital, highlighted by the recent announcement of San Pellegrino’s ‘The World’s 50 Top Best Restaurants’ for 2015 that featured three Peruvian restaurants, while eight Peruvian restaurants in the Latin America Top 50 list . From ceviche to purple corn, to local favourites such as alpaca, and over 3000 varieties of potato!
It funny how others look at me when I mentioned to them that I don’t know much about my homeland but I remember the food they served. No, we are not talking about guinea pig – for some strange reason people think that is all they ate and Llamas.
I’m talking about bbq Antichuchos, Goat Stew, Ceviche, Causa, Aji de Gallina and to add to your waistline even more desserts like Picarones, Lucuma, Churros (actual churros with dulce de leche filling). All this takes me back to my aunt’s home, yes there was a little bit of language barrier, but food was the universal language and the smile I gave when I tasted her cooking.
Take a look at these top Peruvian restaurants in the world:
Head Chef Virgilio Martinez’s standout dish at his recently awarded best Latin American restaurant for 2015 by San Pellegrino is Octopus in purple coal. The octopus has been charred on purple chicha coal, and is served on a bed of lentil stew with olive psicodelia. The octopus cooks to perfection – crisp on the outside, soft inside.
Diners at Central are taken on a vertical journey across Peru’s landscape, serving native ingredients sourced at various altitudes. The mountains, sea, desert and jungle are all represented in the tasting menu that travels from 25 metres below to 4,200 metres above sea level.
Head Chef Diego Muñoz’s standout dish is Trout, chirimoya fruit and duck. Chirimoya is native to Peru and looks like no other fruit. They are sweet in taste with a combination of banana, pineapple and peach in flavour. This dish displays savoury characteristics with an added sweet notes.
Located in San Isidro district, this fine dining establishment elevates the food of South America’s westernmost country to five-star status. As well as a restaurant, Astrid y Gaston also acts as a gastro bar, botanical garden, provides two private dining enclosures with private kitchen and bar, as well as a research and development lab.
Head Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura’s standout dish is the Poor man’s nigiri made with sushi rice with a slice of blowtorched steak, quail’s eggs and “chalaka” – an onion salsa.
Maido blends Peruvian and Japanese influences, and the tasting menu is a story of tradition and innovation, where classic Peruvian dishes are reinvented using Japanese ingredients and techniques.
San Isidro, Lima
One of Head Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino’s standout dishes is Yuca in sour orange sauce. Yuca is a starchy vegetable, similar in shape to a sweet potato. The outside of yucas are rough and brown, with either white or yellowish flesh.
This Peruvian-Amazonian style restaurant opens the eyes of urban diners to the country’s assortment of wild produce and incredible indigenous ingredients. Dishes of exotic character with complex textures star in the menu, containing ingredients that most visitors might not even be able to pronounce! Think Amazon fish and native Andean herb coated potato cooked in huatia – a traditional Peruvian earthen oven.
Head Chef Héctor Solí’ standout dish is the Arroz con pato (seasoned rice and duck) – arguably the best in Lima! This dish is the perfect fusion of foreign and native ingredients. This restaurant highlights northern Peruvian dishes through modern cooking techniques and presentation.