A quinta in Cuzco is like a huarique in Lima. It is a simple, traditional restaurant that provides regional dishes at local prices. As much as Cuzco has grown and become a global city and home to dozens of massive hotels, the old Cuzco has become more and more obscure. Still if you take a few steps off the beaten tourist paths there are still a few of genuine lunch only quintas to be found.
Cajamarca, a city in Peru’s Northern Andes, is a culinary hotspot. The city’s beauty lies in its products and traditions. The region is home to Peru’s dairy industry, which makes Cajamarca a leading producer of cheeses and manjar blanco (Peru’s own version of dulce de leche).
Cuzco has always been a bit of a wild card in terms of restaurants. While quality products are there, few restaurants have really put them to good use and instead have tried to serve tourist friendly food. That’s beginning to change.
I’ve never been a fan of chicha de jora. I have tried it dozens of times, but it always tastes a bit skunky. The only time I can manage to stomach an entire glass is in Cuzco’s picanterias, where they add strawberries to it, and call it frutillada. Chicha de… Read More →
The upcoming year appears to be a big one for Gastón Acurio and his partners. They have an astounding 35 or so new restaurants under construction that will literally double the size of the brand and put the Peruvian culinary stamp on new terrain.
At Hotelier, a small hotel on Las Pocitas beach in Mancora, Javier Ocampo, the son of now retired TV chef Teresa Ocampo, becomes excited whenever anyone wants to chat about Peruvian food. In the mornings he goes spear fishing, later serving what he catches. At least once a week he… Read More →
In 2012 several restaurants in Peru, Mexico, and Brazil inched their way up the World’s Best list and countless superb new restaurants opened. Last month I met with Noma founder Claus Meyer in Copenhagen and his words were “I think South America is the next continent.” He was talking about food and restaurants and the sheer amount of opportunity there for haute cuisine. There is much to look forward to…
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.
I came to know Jason Nanka and Lorena Valdivia quite well over the past year. They reached out to me through social media well before they opened their Lima restaurant, Nanka in La Molina, and we continued to stay in touch. I exchanged emails with them probably at least once a month and met with them on two occasions at Nanka.
With more Peruvian restaurants in New York City comes more Peruvian cocktails. With more Peruvian cocktails comes more happy hours at Peruvian restaurants. Here are my recommendations.