Inspiration Album: Peru

In my humble, and generally uniformed opinion, I’m going to state what I believe to be an unequivocal fact:

In 2015, the chefs of Peru are making the most exciting food on the planet.

In the spirit of being out of the proverbial Peruvian closet, and in an attempt to persuade any non-believers, I present an album of pictorial evidence, proof-positive of my claim. Inspiration for the neophyte, unaware of his southern culinary brethren, as well as the woefully uninspired chefs among you, the poor wretches who can’t bear the thought of another pot of Idaho mashed potatoes or plate of Parmesan chicken.

Before we dive in,we’ve got to understand a few things about what’s happening in Peru:

1- First, I am Columbus-ing the shit out of an entire culture and regional cuisine. Peru, and Central America in general, have always had an amazing and vibrant cuisine, but, like a lot of other things that fall under the umbreala of fashion and pop-culture (and cooking is both of these things), they don’t become popular until white folks “discover” them. Hate me if you want, but at least I’m up front about it.

2- The “rise” is Peruvian popularity is due to two factors:

  • An incredible biodeversity provides Peruvian chefs with a seemingly endless supply of unique fruits and vegetables, creating an arch of taste rivlled by only a few places on Earth
  • An influx of classicly trained and worldly Peruvian chefs has wielded that flavor palette artfully, resulting in a vibrancy and vitality that is palpable. Peruvian cuisine is vivacious;  a testament to its biome, a place literally teeming with life!

Chef Virgilio Martinez’s stand-out Octopus at Lima’s Central resturant . Image credit

Another octopus, this time served charred and in infused broth, from famed Astrid y Gaston, a Lima institution for almost 20 years. Image credit :

A pioneer of “Neikki” cuisine, a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese, Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura of Maido, again, of Lima, is making some of the world’s most innovative sushi. Image credit,

Another forerunner of Peruvian-Amazonia cuisine is Chef José Ragazzi Cifuentes, of Lima’s Malabar. This dessert features ingredients unique to the Amazon. Image Credit

This dish comes from La Mar, a cebicheria, a restaurant specializing in all things ceviche. The Peruvian contribution to the art of ceviche is one of the most exciting things about Peruvian food. Image credit: Flicker

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