Many Americans try a Peruvian restaurant for the first time and think, “This can’t be authentic South American food – there are french fries on the menu!” Even top Peruvian restaurants have comments like this posted on their Yelp profiles. But in fact, french fries are absolutely Peruvian. There are over 2,000 varieties of potatoes that grow in Peru, particularly in the mountainous areas. The people who live in the Andean region have a diet that is centered around potatoes of all forms. Although the thin cut french fry may be considered a more Americanized side, dishes such as Lomo Saltado are always served with some form of fries, whether you’re in Peru itself or anywhere else that’s serving Peruvian food. The mixture of white rice and fries provides the perfect base for the stir-fried steak, tomatoes and onions, and makes Lomo Saltado a hearty, satisfying dish. Other Peruvian potato dishes include Papa Rellena, or stuffed potatoes, and Papa a la Huancaina, or Peruvian style potato salad.
January 26, 2011
January 17, 2011
An article published online yesterday by The Star calls Gaston Acurio “the most famous chef you’ve never heard of.” Acurio is by far the most renowned chef in Peru, and his goal is to give Peruvian food the international publicity it deserves. We know Peruvian cuisine can compete on the international scale, but as Bon Appetit Senior Editor Andrew Knowlton recently said, “For me, for the past 10 years, Peruvian food has always been the next ‘it’ cuisine, but it’s kind of never made it.” That may change as Acurio opens more restaurants around the world, including a rumored location in New York City. He already operates a restaurant in San Francisco that have received fantastic reviews, as well as bistros and fine dining locations in several other countries. And of course, he and his wife also own a chain of both high end and casual restaurants in Peru. Acurio uses European cooking techniques he learned in France to enhance the presentation of the Andean cuisine he grew up eating. His cuisine is referred to as Nuevo Andino, or New Andean, and it has consistently received very positive reviews. Peruvians are proud of Acurio for helping to put their cuisine on the map. He says, “Our mission is to carry Peruvian culture to the world.”