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…
After traveling in Colombia last year I was hooked on the country’s beautiful landscape, happy and hope filled people, and fresh and flavorful cuisine that very well could be the next worldwide dining trend. While there is a surprisingly large Colombian community in Buenos Aires, the city offers limited options for Colombian… Read More →
I have a modest personal mission to eat all things strange in Mexico. So far I’m doing pretty well – aside from strange delicious things like Chiles en Nogada, I’ve had strange nasty things like Tacos de Sesos (brain tacos), Chapulines (fried crickets), and chicken-spine soup. I haven’t yet tried Tacos de Cran (cow penis) and I’m not sure I will.
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.
After naming the grill master and author of the book Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way the executive chef of Siete Fuegos, the restaurant at the Vines Resort & Spa in the Uco Valley, Vines took the famed chef on a whirlwind tour of several US cities to celebrate with a menu of grilled sweetbreads, five hour rib eye, skirt steak, and a salt crusted salmon infiernillo with aioli. Everything was paired with Recuerdo Wines, now available in the US, which are produced at the Vines of Mendoza’s vineyards.
Dona Beatriz, he assures me, has the cleanest, best operation in the area near San Miguel de Allende. Her skills are the culmination of an entire family history of growing maguey cactus and producing this frothy, fermented alcoholic drink that, according to my good friend and guide for the day, will fill you up faster than it will get you drunk.
At the Stella Artois Mondial Maitres Serveurs (the World Draught Master Global Finals), the brand’s world beer pouring championship, twenty-one acclaimed pourers from around the world (visa issues cut that number down from 26) gathered in Montreal last week at the Chalet du Mont-Royal to determine who could make the perfect pour.
Every few months twelve rising star chefs from around Argentina get together. They discuss ingredients and gauchos, wine and sustainability. Most importantly they cook. The alliance of young chefs, called GAJO (Gastronomía Argentina Joven), intends to elevate Argentinean cuisine beyond beef. They do this by educating producers, chefs, and waiters so that as a unit they can ensure high quality food and reasonable prices in every part of the country.
Does authenticity matter? This is a question that was presented at the 5th annual Latin Flavors, American Kitchens conference, held at the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus in the burgeoning Pearl Brewery complex October 3-5. It is a concept I have thought about extensively in regards to Latin American restaurants found outside of Latin America.
At La Perla, Peruvian chef Carlos Accinelli who learned his trade in the kitchens of Lima and Spain at the Michelin-starred Basque restaurant, Arzak, works closely with owner and manager Roberto Carrascal to ensure the menu gets a facelift as regularly as the petite diner’s stylish interiors. There’s no shifting the stars of the show though. Neither the classic Ceviche Corvina (sea bass ceviche) or the Lomo La Perla, a sirloin steak served with a Roquefort-laced sauce served on a bed of creamy mushroom rice, are showing signs of going out of fashion any time soon.