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[photo: Star Chefs]

Boragó At Meadowood’s 12 Days Of Christmas

[photo: Conde Nast Traveler]

[photo: Conde Nast Traveler]

This past weekend, Santiago’s touted chef and owner of Boragó, Rodolfo Guzmán, traveled to Napa Valley with his sous chef Sergio Meza to take part in the Restaurant At Meadowood’s annual 12 days of Christmas dinner series.  The series brings together renowned chefs from around the world to cook with Chris Kostow and his team at Meadowood.  Bonjwing Lee, otherwise known as the mastermind behind Ulterior Epicure, just so happened to be at the dinner and put together an incredible recap.  A multi-course dinner that gave diners a taste of both Chile and Napa, Kostow and Guzmán took turns delighting diners’ palates.

As you can read in Lee’s summary of the dinner, Kostow took on the challenge of Guzmán’s terroir-driven style and cultivated dishes from the best that Napa had to offer.  Guzman, via Instagram, could be seen in the days leading up to the dinner foraging for specific ingredients in the woods and other areas surrounding the restaurant.  Needless to say, the results, at least what we can see of them, were nothing short of spectacular.  Read up for the full summary.  [via Ulterior Epicure]

[photo: Maribel Rivero]

Dispatches: CIA San Francisco’s Worlds Of Flavor

The 17th annual Worlds of Flavor conference kicked off yesterday at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus just outside of Napa Valley.  A confluence of some of the best chefs in the world, including Thomas Keller, Nathan Myhrvold, Joan Roca, and a variety of chefs from South America, Worlds of Flavor is a chance for CIA students and graduates, as well as other industry professionals, to mingle and learn from the industry’s pioneers and newcomers.  Yesterday was a huge day, and social media was buzzing with commentary from the events.  Keynote speakers like Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Kostow, Claus Meyer, and the team of chefs from Bolivia’s Gustu took the stage.

[photo: Maribel Rivero]

[photo: Maribel Rivero]

[photo: Maribel Rivero]

[photo: Maribel Rivero]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Como Sur writer and Gustu team member Maribel Rivero had the privilege of being asked to attend the conference along with the Gustu team and Claus Meyer, the restaurant’s owner.  She’ll be sending us updates and dispatches from the event.  Below, her summary of yesterday’s kick-off:

The World of Flavors 2013 at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Conference in California’s beautiful Napa Valley is an amazing setting to experience presentations from world class chefs from Copenhagen, London, Barcelona, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Istanbul, Mexico City, Lima, La Paz, New York, and finally San Francisco.  Chefs presenting fit into four thematic areas of the conference objective that includes  —Millennial Appetites, Information Technology, Creativity, and Culinary Science.

Yesterday started with revolutionary Nathan Myhrvold, author of Modernist Cuisine, discussing his approach to Molecular Gastronomy and how applicable it can be for the masses.  The most notable to the afternoon’s presenters that spoke of their movement or impact on cuisine was Claus Meyer, who went from being owner of Denmark’s Noma, voted best restaurant in the world three times in a row, to creating a project in Bolivia.  You had to be there to experience his poignant profanity, references to his mother’s cooking, and to the food of Denmark in general.  To hear him explain his revolutionary methods in Denmark and his approach to making the world see that Bolivia has a lot more to offer than potatoes.  Gustu, represented by chefs Michelangelo Cestari, Kamilla Siedler, and David Mauricio Zarate, one of the restaurant’s young cooks, presented themselves with a brief synopsis of their projects in La Paz, including trying to maintain a world-class restaurant .  Kamilla killed it with a final comment, “Bolivia is the new Black”, and the crowd immediately roared with applause, wanting even more.

Better than the lectures and presentations of hot new cuisines and methods is having the experience of working with chefs Kamilla Seidler , Michelangelo Cestari, and David Mauricio Zarate from Gustu. And to witness the intense labor of love from Virgilio Martinez presenting his cuisine for the World Market cocktail event presented Thursday evening.

The presentations will finish this evening at Worlds of Flavor, and the conference will wrap-up with a breakfast tomorrow morning.  Maribel’s busy enjoying the bounty of Napa and the incredible amount of talent that Worlds of Flavor has to offer, but we’ll post her reports as we get them.

[photo: Maribel Rivero]

[photo: Maribel Rivero]

[photo: Maribel Rivero]

[photo: Maribel Rivero]

[photo: Maribel Rivero]

[photo: Maribel Rivero]

[image: Madrid Fusion]

New Andean Cooking Featured At Madrid Fusion 2014

[image: Madrid Fusion]

[image: Madrid Fusion]

It’s been a big year for what is now being dubbed as ‘New Andean Cooking,’ the style, the techniques, and ingredients that Lima’s Central, Santiago’s Boragó, and La Paz’s Gustu are pioneering.  A mixture of new, often unheard of ingredients, new takes on the traditional techniques of each of the countries, and several fresh, creative minds, New Andean Cooking looks like it could be on track to be the next ‘hot cuisine’ that will top major lists in 2014.  The chefs from each of the restaurants continue to make international appearances to enlighten and explain to international press and diners just what’s going on in South America right now.  And, now, all three restaurants have been invited to speak at and participate in the 2014 edition of Madrid Fusion, one of the premier international gastronomy summits.

The 2014 edition of Madrid Fusion, whose working theme is ‘The Inspiration Is In the Street,’ will focus on native and street foods from countries around the world.  As part of the summit, there will be a section dedicated to new culinary territories, in which the three South American restaurants will be featured.  Additionally, Gastón Acurio will be at Madrid Fusion with his Astrid y Gastón chef Diego Muñoz to give workshops for those in attendance.  Not just Peru this time, but a good representation of where South America is heading as a culinary force, the chefs will be cooking and presenting alongside giants like Joan Roca, Ferran Adriá and Andoni Luis Aduriz, some of Spain and the world’s most well-known culinary greats.  With that kind of exposure, 2014 looks to be an incredible year for South American cuisine.

Madrid Fusion will take place January 27 to 29, 2014.  For more information about the festival, visit their website.  Start making your reservations for these restaurants now.  2014 is looking to be a busy year.  [via Gastroactitud]

[photo: Tanta Chicago]

Tanta Chicago Up For More Awards

[photo: Tanta Chicago]

[photo: Tanta Chicago]

The trajectory that Gastón Acurio’s Chicago outpost of his Tanta brand of restaurants has taken since opening back in August is nothing short of legendary.  By far the chef’s simplest concept, a sort of jumping off point into Peruvian cuisine in a hip, comfortable setting, Chicago has embraced the restaurant with open arms, and so have the people doling out the praise.  Zagat named the restaurant as one of the best new spots for 2013.  Chicago’s food press has raved about the fusion of flavors as well as the comfortable setting.  Now, the Peruvian export is up for yet another award / bit of praise that could solidify its first six months as the most epic ever for a single restaurant.

Eater.com, the U.S.-based food and drink news site, is in the process of choosing their Eater Awards for 2013.  Cities across the country that have a dedicated branch of the site are being encouraged to log on to the site and pick from various lists of hit restaurants, chefs, and so on.  It just so happens that Tanta has made it into the running for the ‘So Hot Right Now’ award in Chicago.  And if you want, you could make sure they win.  Simply follow the link to Eater and place your vote.  It’s that simple.

Will Tanta dominate Chicago’s hot list this year?  Will Peruvian food be forever embedded in the Windy City’s fabric of fine dining?  You can decide.  Vote now!  [via Eater]

[photo: Big Hospitality]

Big News On The Acurio / Martínez / Astrid y Gastón Front(s)

[photo: Big Hospitality]

[photo: Big Hospitality]

Word has been circulating for some time now that highly acclaimed Peruvian chefs and small empire-builders Gastón Acurio and Virgilio Martínez have been planning a joint restaurant in London.  Now, according to Diario Gestión, the two are about to rent their space–and it sounds pretty darn cool.  According to Acurio, the space will seat 12 people only and will be modeled after a typical Peruvian tavern, serving typical dishes like ‘papas rellenas,’ amongst others.  They’re also planning to bring a new Peruvian chef in once a month to create a constantly changing menu.   We expect that the food will be anything but typical.

In other news, Acurio apparently also mentioned that he’s going to close all locations of Astrid y Gastón worldwide, except for Lima, and convert each into a new concept called Restobar Astrid y Gastón.  It seems like a pretty good idea given that the chef and his partners are spending US $6 million on the new Astrid y Gastón Casa Moreyra space in Lima.  We have to hand it to the guy, though.  40 restaurants worldwide or not, he closes and reopens, or revamps and reopens when something isn’t working.  It’s impressive, to say the least.

Though he only currently has three restaurants, with numbers four and five apparently on the way, it looks as though Virgilio Martínez could be taking a cue from the Godfather of Peruvian cuisine himself.  Strike while the iron is hot it seems.  At least it gives us a lot to write about.  [via Diario Gestión]

 

[image: CIA]

CIA San Francisco’s ‘Worlds of Flavor’ Begins Thursday

[image: CIA]

[image: CIA]

As we told you earlier last month, the Culinary Institute of America in San Francisco’s annual symposium, Worlds of Flavor, will take place this week.  Chefs from all over the world, including the likes of Thomas Keller, Mark Miller, Nuno Mendes, and many many more will be on hand.  South America is going to be represented in a big way this year, too, with Virgilio Martínez and a whole team from Bolivia’s Gustu on hand.  As the ‘Nueva Cocina Andina’ begins to grab the world’s attention, Claus Meyer, co-owner of Denmark’s NOMA, will be on hand with Gustu chefs Kamilla Seidler and Michelangelo Cestari to talk about the goals that Gustu has for putting Bolivian cuisine on the map.

For those interested, but unable to attend, Worlds of Flavor will feature a live, streaming webcast.  For those that would just rather get the highlights, you’re in luck, because Como Sur will be on hand for each day of the symposium to bring you all the best this year’s event has to offer.  At a moment when South American cuisine is gaining more attention than ever on the international culinary scene, Worlds of Flavor promises to be a huge step for the chefs and restaurants participating.  We’ll bring you up to date coverage starting Thursday.

[photo: Discover Nikkei]

Diego Oka OFFICIALLY In At La Mar Miami

[image: La Mar]

[image: La Mar]

Though we’ve known for some time that Gastón Acurio would be opening a branch of his cevichería La Mar in Miami’s Mandarin Oriental, and that Diego Oka would be helming the new space, we now have the official press release from the Mandarin Oriental stating both.  According to Oka’s mentor, Gastón Acurio, who has watched Oka grow within the La Mar brand in cities like San Francisco, “Diego Oka is an incredibly talented chef, who has been a vital member of our team and a devoted contributor to the success of La Mar restaurants.”  La Mar Miami is slated to open by year’s end, and, given the proclivity that Miami natives already have for tropical and other Latin cuisines, it’s going to be an instant success.  Adiós Floribbean.  Hello Peruvian.  Bienvenida a Miami.

Below, the press release:

Mandarin Oriental, Miami Appoints Diego Oka As Executive Chef Of La Mar

By Gaston Acurio

Hong Kong, 4 November 2013 – Chef Diego Oka has been named Executive Chef at La Mar by Gaston Acurio, Mandarin Oriental, Miami’s new restaurant concept launching at the end of the year. Chef Oka’s new menu will celebrate the authentic and diverse flavors of Peruvian gastronomy, ranging from upscale novo-Andean fare to Asian-Peruvian fusion and traditional seafood cebiche.

The rising star chef has earned widespread acclaim with a culinary career that spans North and South America. Most recently, Chef Oka worked at La Mar Cebicheria in the culinary mecca of San Francisco, where he was named the winner of 7×7 Magazine’s “Your City Your Chef” 2013 competition. Throughout his 13 years working alongside celebrity chef Gaston Acurio, Oka has also worked at La Mar locations in Peru and Colombia, among other countries.

“Diego Oka is an incredibly talented chef, who has been a vital member of our team and a devoted contributor to the success of La Mar restaurants,” said Gaston Acurio. “Given his achievements in the international culinary scene, Chef Oka’s eclectic menu is sure to captivate the palates of local residents, visitors and food enthusiasts alike shaping Miami’s burgeoning gastronomic landscape.”

Blending personal experiences and his Japanese roots into his cuisine, Oka draws on influences ranging from his grandmother’s cooking in Peru to the food he discovered while living in Mexico and Colombia.

“Miami’s appetite for international cuisine and abundance of fresh ingredients drive me in the process of creating a vibrant new menu for La Mar,” said Oka. “I am extremely excited to share the flavors and culture of Peru with this vibrant and dynamic city.”

A native of Peru, Chef Oka received his degree in Culinary Studies from the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola in Lima.

About La Mar by Gaston Acurio
La Mar by Gaston Acurio will feature the acclaimed Peruvian cuisine of celebrity chef Gaston Acurio in a high-energy setting with dramatic water views of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline. Diners will be invited to explore the authentic and diverse flavors of Peruvian gastronomy, ranging from upscale novo-Andean fare to Asian-Peruvian fusion and traditional seafood cebiche. A contemporary design by Arquitectonica and interiors by Nathan/Pereira Arquitectura will offer a mix of indoor and outdoor seating with three lively  bars providing distinctive culinary experiences and a personal look into the creation of signature cebiches, freshly grilled anticuchos and specialty cocktails.

About Mandarin Oriental, Miami

Contemporary in design and with a prominent waterfront location, the luxurious Mandarin Oriental, Miami features 326 elegant guest rooms and suites – offering dramatic views of the bay and the Miami skyline.  Amenities include two high-energy restaurants, M-Bar – a dynamic cocktail lounge and martini bar, an award-winning tri-level spa, Oasis Beach Club, the luxury boutique Shanghai Tang and extensive meeting and business facilities.

About Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is the award-winning owner and operator of some of the world’s most prestigious hotels and resorts. The Group now operates, or has under development, 45 hotels representing over 11,000 rooms in 26 countries, with 20 hotels in Asia, 11 in The Americas and 14 in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. In addition, the Group operates, or has under development, 13 Residences at Mandarin Oriental connected to its properties.

Photography of Mandarin Oriental is available to download, in high and low resolution, in the Photo Library of our Media section, at www.mandarinoriental.com.  Please join us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MandarinOriental) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/mo_hotels)

Visit Destination MO (www.destinationMO.info), the online version of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group’s bespoke publication, MO. News about our award-winning hotels, the best dining experiences, spa treatments, travel retreats and interviews with the Group’s celebrity fans is now just a click away.

[via Mandarin Oriental]

[photo: Lima London]

Looks Like Round Two For Virgilio Martínez’s Lima London

[image; Lima London]

[image; Lima London]

Hot on the heels of last month’s first Michelin star, and only the third for Peruvian chefs worldwide, chef Virgilio Martínez and the team behind Lima London are looking to capitalize on the success of both the brand and the cuisine, and open another location.  Apparently sales at the restaurant have increased by 30% since they received their coveted first Michelin star, bringing check averages up to $90 US.  Whether in England, the United States or Peru, that’s a solid payday.  That’s also a great time to start taking advantage of the unstoppable wave that is Peruvian cuisine.

In an interview with Peru’s Gestión, Lima London’s managing director Gabriel González has said that the project is already in development.  As Martínez discussed in our recent interview with him, he’s not necessarily interested in blowing up too quickly.  As he told Gestión, “When we opened [in London] we were very cautious, we had a lot of patience.  We want to do the same with this new expansion.”  Patience is a virtue, and Martínez seems to have it nailed, along with a solid business sense.

Lima has been open just over a year and already received its first Michelin star.  Martínez’s Lima, Peru headquarters, Central, hasn’t yet been open five years, but this year was awarded the number 50 spot on the list of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants back in May, as well as the number four spot on the Latin America’s 50 Best list in September.  That’s quite a pedigree for such a young chef.  Could he be the next Gastón Acurio, with well over 30 restaurants worldwide?  There’s no telling at this point.

Though Martínez and his manager González have said they’ll open another spot in London, there’s no official date set.  Martínez is also slated to open something with Gastón Acurio in the British capital.  Look out world.  Peru’s taking over.  [via Gestión]