Recently I attended a small demonstration put on by Avocados from Mexico that showcased a handful of odd and interesting things you can do with avocados. Mixologist Junior Merino was there making avocado cocktails, which were surprisingly excellent. The biggest impression I was left with was the guacamole. While guac… Read More →
Chef Rey Guerrero has become something of an ambassador of the cuisine of Colombia’s Pacific coast in Bogota with his restaurant Rey Guerrero Pescaderia Gourmet. Arroz Tumbacatre is a sort of Arroz con Mariscos (seafood rice) hailing from the region. Here’s Guerrero’s recipe… RECIPE: Arroz Tumabacatre Ingredients: -30 prawns, peeled… Read More →
While ceviche was likely born in Peru and traveled up and down the Pacific coast of South America and into Central America, few realize that is actually quite common in the islands of the South Pacific. While preparations vary considerably from island to island, the flavors of the Pacific Rim are clearly evident. One in particular: coconut milk.
While Tiradito is a Nikkei invention (Japanese Peruvian), it’s not only a Nikkei dish anymore. Tiradito is served in some form – usually several – in nearly every cevicheria in Peru. A cousin to ceviche, tiradito is more thinly sliced, much like sashimi.
Each day, Rancho Valencia’s executive chef Eric Bauer passes by Chino Farm on the way to work. The resort, a modern hacienda set on a 40-acre enclave of rolling hills in Rancho Sante Fe, a short drive from San Diego, has fully embraced a healthy lifestyle with the recent reopening of the 49 private villa suites. A concept that extends not only to championship tennis and golf, but to food. Having Chino Farm, helped made famous by Alice Waters and Chez Panisse, and an abundance of locally sourced, seasonal produce, not to mention flowers and honey from Rancho Valencia, allows Bauer the opportunity that few hotel chefs are given. The following recipe is Bauer’s fresh, nourishing take on the Andean grain quinoa.
Javier Wong, the chef owner of Chez Wong in Lima, is one of the most legendary chefs in Peru. His restaurant isn’t fancy, far from it. It’s in one room of his house, in the rough and tumble district of La Victoria not far from a line of auto repair garages. There’s no menu. He serves a ceviche, always using Pacific sole; enormous ones.
If you happen to grab a bite in Peru’s Amazonian region and come across plates of yellowish balls served all around you, don’t panic! It’s nothing out of the ordinary, just one of the most wonderful dishes Peruvian cuisine ever invented. Served in every village, town and city in the jungle, tacacho is part of a strong gastronomic tradition that still remains a secret to the rest of the world. Although Peru has been enjoying a culinary boom for the past few years, its Amazonian region hasn’t gathered much international attention. However, it’s a solid gastronomic identity simply craving to be discovered.
Monte Azul, a hotel on a private mountain reserve near Costa Rica’s highest point, Chirripó National Park, about two hours from Manuel Antonio, has become something of a beacon of culture in the middle of the rainforest since it opened in 2005. While the hotel is best known for their promotion of Costa Rican art at their residency programs and gallery, Monte Azul Contemporary Art (MACA), their world with Costa Rican food has become perhaps equally as impressive. The following recipe is for a Tico version of Piononos, a small traditional pastry that originated in Santa Fe, a town near to Granada, Spain, and has taken a life of its own in Latin America.
The Argentine asado is a true wonder, a celebration of fire seared bovine flesh, an orgiastic festival of the consumption of cow, a glorious litany of … I could go on… excessive description comes easy when dealing with a fine asado.
No asado, however, is complete without a good chimichurri, an intensely flavoured salsa good for a chorripan or as a relish for your meat. To really impress your argentine guests, have a jar of berenjenas a la escabeche stading on the table. The berenjenas (eggplant / brinjal) are cooked and bottled in a pickling brine (escabeche) and are excellent with bread as an accompaniment to the salami and cheese tabla as well as with your meat. The flavours of both improve with time – particularly the berenjenas should be stored for a few months before tucking in.
For those of you that read the magazine Saveur, I have an article in the June/July issue (2012) on Lucuma Ice Cream from Helados OVNI, a small ecological ice cream producer on the side of the Pan-American Highway south of Lima in the town of Chilca (Kilometer 63.5), a perfect summer stop for Limeños traveling to their beach houses in the Playas of Asia.