De niña yo tuve un sueño que hoy se ha hecho realidad, poder sentirme a tu lado a traves del cocinar. Hoy estoy aqui en Palermo mezclo sabor y amistad. Veni, sentite en tu casa, podes entrar sin golpear! When I was a girl I had a dream that… Read More →
In 2009, the Dakar Rally was run in South America (Argentina and Chile), the first time the race took place outside of Europe and Africa. It has stayed in South America since, with this year adding the vast coastal deserts of Peru to the route. The 9,000 kilometer itinerary extended… Read More →
Peruvian Food is becoming a global phenomenon. The culinary scene in Lima and the rest of Peru keeps improving. Food festivals, such as Mistura, are expanding. Young chefs who have trained in top kitchens in North America and Europe are returning home to open restaurants. In the same regard in North America and Europe Peruvian chefs are being called upon to a greater degree to launch new restaurants. Gastón Acurio is not holding back on his expansion plans. Culinary ideas are being refined from every angle. Here’s what to expect from Peruvian food and restaurants in 2012.
I was in the Brazilian Amazon not long ago and on my plate, stuck into a piece of decoration fruit, was this little, pea sized, yellow bean. I thought it was a piece of the fruit and poked the bean on my fork and put it into my mouth, chewed, and swallowed. It was fragrant, a little fruity, and then the earth shattered and my head exploded. Within seconds I was choking and tears were flowing out of my eyes. It took about ten minutes to recover. Seriously that hot. I had to ask the waitress how you were supposed to eat it. She explained that you just sort of squeeze it with your fork and get a tiny bit of the juice on it and then mix it in whatever you were eating to add some spice (in my case it was fish and rice).
A glossary. That does it for me on a restaurant’s menu, such as that of Leo Cocina y Cava in Bogota. Particularly when the ingredients being defined are of the food of that place. Many Latin American countries only vaguely know what is edible outside of their region of birth. You learn that name is a Caribbean tuber, that guayusa is a highly caffeinated Amazonian plant, and that cabeza de mico is a mix of shredded coconut and green banana that is common in the Afro-Colombian communities of Cordoba. The glossary tells me immediately that this chef, Leonor Espinosaa one time ecponomist and publicist, is a sort of culinary explorer, testing which ingredients work together, and which do not. In a place with the level of biodiversity of Colombia, this is important.
Cartagena’s dining scene has improved drastically in the past year, rivaling Bogota and other much larger metro areas in South America, with several much-hyped openings outside of Daniel Castaño’s Vera. Write ups in the New York Times, Vogue, and elsewhere have proven that the city’s restaurants deserve the attention. In fact Cartagena has always bee great food destination, even before it became the darling of the jetset. It has long benefitted from Colombia’s distinct range of ingredients and the rather diverse population. It was my first ever stop in South America and it will forever remain in my culinary consciousness for that reason.