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Docs | A Primer On The Cuisine Of Minas Gerais, Brazil (PO)

By Joanna Marracelli

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.39.01 PM

For the latest installment of Docs, our video series that digs deeper into the heart of regional cooking in South America, we head to Brazil for a taste of the cuisine of Minas Gerais. One of the largest states in the country, the food from the state of Minas Gerais is the soul of Brazilian cooking.  Soups, stews and other comfort foods form the backbone of this rich cuisine.  Pão de Queijo is a star example of one of the most famous and beloved Brazilian foods that were born from this area.

Watch A Trailer For ‘La Epoyepa De Pebre’ (ES)

By Patrick Hieger



“We’re all part of a system that we need to protect.”  This has been the mission of Pebre, the group of Chilean cooks, restaurant owners, journalists, historians, and more, that have been aiming to protect and promote Chile’s culinary traditions since their inception nearly two years ago.  With food and Chile at the very heart of the project, Pebre has fed countless groups of people, helping those who lost everything in the devastating fires in Valparaiso earlier this year, serving up one of the biggest parties for Chile’s independence day that Santiago has ever seen, hosting summits to talk about the traditions and the advancement of Chilean cuisine, and countless other events.  And now, documentarian Jaime Landeros is making a film about them.

Maracaibo, Venezuela’s Cuisine Will Be Given Cultural Heritage Status (ES)

By Patrick Hieger



Last week in Maracaibo, located in the Northwestern section of Venezuela, the City Council signed a decree giving cultural heritage status to the region’s cuisine.  As part of the decree, the Council will set forth a list of qualifications to ensure that local dishes, like tequeños, tumbarranchos, cachapas, and patacones use local ingredients and traditional techniques, in order to maintain a legacy of distinct regional cooking.  They will be working directly with the city’s mayor to encourage cooks, restaurants, producers, and others involved in the food chain to celebrate, preserve, and promote the region’s traditions.  [via El Universal]

La semana pasada en Maracaibo, ubicado en el sector noroeste de Venezuela, el Concejo Municipal firmaron un decreto otorga condición de patrimonio cultural de la cocina de la región.  Por parte del decreto, el Concejo establecerá una lista de medidas para que que los platos locales, como tequeños, tumbarranchos, cachapas, y patacones utilizan ingredientes locales y técnicas tradicionales, con el fin de mantener un legado de la distinta cocina regional.  Trabajarán directamente con el alcalde de la ciudad para impulsar a cocineros, restaurantes, productores, y otros involucrados en la cadena alimentaria para celebrar, preservar, y promover a las tradiciones de la región.  [via El Universal]

London Might Get A La Mar Cevichería Next Year (ES)

By Patrick Hieger

[image: La Mar]

[image: La Mar]

When you have 730,000 followers on Twitter, it’s hard to keep secrets.  Yesterday in a tweeting exchange with Richard Vines, former UK chairman of the World’s 50 Best, Gastón Acurio was inquiring about how a 60 pound check average would do in London’s Mayfair district.  Vines commented that it would be just fine and that he should bring La Mar to London.  Acurio’s response?  “Next year La Mar will be in London.”  So, London might be getting yet another dose of Peruvian fare some time in 2015.  We’ll wait and see if it comes to fruition.

Buenos Aires Celebrates Cuyo This Weekend (ES)

By Sole Maquirriain

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 8.30.18 AMOn May 17 and 18, from 12 to 9 pm, Porteños will be able to enjoy various artisans and culinary offerings form Mendoza, San Juan, and San Luis, right in the middle of Buenos Aires.  At the event called Cuyo, they’ll find stands offering tourist information from each of the regions, and there will also be tastings, raffles, and live music, without having to travel to each region to experience it!  Finally, there will also be an artisan fair that will be offering products to try and to buy, making us feel like we’re right in their own town.  Cuyo will take place at Distrito Audiovisual, located at Zapiola 50.  We’re going, are you?!

[image: Como Sur]

North Of South America: New York City

In part two of our series entitled North of South America, in which we take a look at some of the best places to find South American cuisine in some of the largest cities in the United States, writer Joanna Marracelli, a native New Yorker, gives us an insider’s look at New York City, and its thriving culture of South American restaurants.  From Peru to Argentina and even Bolivia, some of the best flavors from below the equator are readily available in the Big Apple.  Have other favorites?  Don’t be afraid to let us know! 

[image: Como Sur]

[image: Como Sur]

By: Joanna Marracelli

The rumors have been swirling. People are always looking for the next big food trend and many say that South American food is poised to get its spotlight. The fresh, bold flavors that define the dishes as well as the rich biodiversity of this region are being discovered. Then there are chefs like Virgilio Martinez, Alex Atala & Kamilla Seidler among many others who are using these unique ingredients and flavors in creative ways propelling the gastronomy to new heights. The world is sitting up and taking notice. People are excited; things are spreading on a global level. Latin American restaurants are spreading like fire in the United States and New York City, being a leader in food trends, is no exception.

Being a native New Yorker and a chef myself, I have been busy listening to the buzz going on in my city. And here is what I hear. New York is moving beyond places like ‘Empanada Mama’ and ‘Pio Pio’. Don’t get me wrong, those places are great for grabbing the equivalent of South American fast food. For a long time, people here have thought rotisserie chicken paired with rice and beans was what defined Latin American cuisine and there were few restaurants using these flavors in a traditional, creative way. I’m happy to report, the times they are changing. The following list of the best eats of South America in the city, are helping put New York in the right direction.

I’ve chosen restaurants that remain true to the flavors of the countries they are representing. There are a lot of ‘Peruvian’ restaurants serving tacos and other Mexican fare. This just does a disservice to Latin American cuisine. You can expect authentic flavors at each of these spots, often times the owners are directly from the country listed.


Raymi ?43 West 24th Street

New York, NY

For: ceviche, tiradito, causa, lomo soltado, anticuchos and other traditional Peruvian fare. Don’t miss their Sunday Supper’s or whole suckling pig dinners.


Desnuda  122 E 7th St?(between Avenue A & 1st Ave)

or their newer location in:

Williamsburg, Brooklyn  221 S 1st St?(between Driggs Ave & Roebling St)

For: top-notch ceviche washed down with creative Pisco cocktails



Tabaré  Williamsburg, Brooklyn-South Side  221 S 1st St

For: traditional Uruguayan fare like empanadas, chivitos and gnocchi, all prepared with love and served by friendly Uruguayan folk



Buenos Aires  513 E 6th St?(between Avenue B & Avenue A)  New York, NY

For: mouth-watering steaks, lomitos and milanesas washed down with an affordable Malbec


Chimichurri Grill  609 9th Ave?(between 44th St & 43rd St)  New York, NY

For: the best grass-fed, flavorful beef in midtown



 El Aripo Cafe  172 Delancey St?(between Attorney St & Clinton St)  New York, NY

For: authentic Venezulean fare like chupetas, el pabellon and arepas


Caracas Arepa Bar  ?93 1/2 E 7th St  (East Village)  New York, NY (also a location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

For: hands-down the best arepas in the city



Churrascaria Plataforma  316 W 49th St?(between 9th Ave & 8th Ave)

For: savory meats in the best rodizio you will find in NYC


Beco  45 Richardson St?(between Union Ave & Lorimer St) ?Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY 11211

For: to die for Feijoada and an authentic Brazilian ambience



 Mi Bolivia  44-10 48th Ave?Woodside, NY 11377?  Sunnyside, Queens

For: real Bolivian dishes like melt in your mouth Salteñas, Fricase, Lechon, Plato Paceno and even Sopa de Mani! Worth the trek into Queens!



I am very disappointed to report the restaurant Pomaire is now closed. Sadly, this leaves NYC without any Chilean restaurant. Any Chilean chefs out there or people with a passion for its food take note! Given the rising popularity of Latin American food, it’s only a matter of time.


[photo: La Buena Vida]

Israeli Gastronomy Week At Santiago Sheraton Begins Tomorrow

[photo: La Buena Vida]

[photo: La Buena Vida]

Beginning tomorrow, January 15, and running through Sunday, January 19, the Santiago Sheraton will play host to chef Lucas Zitrinovich, who will bring his years of experience in high end Israeli and London kitchens to Santiago for a limited-time event.  Over the course of the five days, the chef will prepare special lunch and dinner buffets that will be full of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean delicacies, all the while utilizing Chilean products when and wherever possible.  Both the lunch and dinner buffets will cost $27.000 CLP per person, which includes appetizers, entrees, desserts, and more.  Guests for the meals can expect everything from cheese-stuffed dates to Israeli gazpacho, rack of lamb and much much more.  Daily meals will take place at the Sheraton’s restaurant, El Bohío.  Reservations aren’t required, but are highly recommended.  [via La Buena Vida]

[image: Como Sur]

North Of South America: Florida

We certainly don’t need to tell you that Latin America cuisine has become a staple in the diet of Americans across the United States.  From the pioneers like Rick Bayless who continue to push the agenda of Mexican food on Chicago all the way down to the dross that is Taco Bell, Latin Cuisine is more popular than ever in the United States, and only gaining ground.  However, for those of you that are traveling north or have been living out of the country for some time and feel that, after the burgers, fried chicken, milkshakes and other American favorites that you’ll be craving upon your arrival, you might want to have some familiar South (and otherwise Latin) American favorites to fall back on, we give you the North American South American tour. 

Throw a stick in cities like Miami, New York, San Francisco, and other great American metropoli and you’ll most likely hit a Latin restaurant.  We wanted to fill you in on a few of our favorites, though, and remind you that some of our favorite South American chefs have incredible North American outposts as well.  Over time, we’ll update and add to each of the lists, but for now we’ll begin with a few favorites.  Salud! 

[image: Como Sur]

[image: Como Sur]

Why did we start with Florida, and not simply Miami? One simple reason–Darwin Santa Maria.  Read below to find out more about this Peruvian chef and the waves he’s been making in Sarasota, Florida for the last ten years.  Then come back to Miami and see how a few celebrated South American chefs are taking their talents north and giving American diners a true taste of what’s happening below the equator.  You’ll also find a couple lower key spaces that are keeping the traditions of home alive and well in their new hometown of Miami.

Darwin’s on 4th | Sarasota, Florida  Yes, Sarasota.  It’s here that chef and native of Peru Darwin Santa Maria has been quietly honing his craft to the delight of local diners for more than ten years.  In 2001, he was voted as one of Food and Wine’s best new chefs.  At Darwin’s on 4th, his newest and greatest project to date, Santa Maria brings the sum of his travels to play in menus that, while focused on Peru and its unique ingredients, bring together world cuisine in a delicious new package.  Well worth the three-hour drive north of Miami, Darwin’s on 4th features a huge open kitchen, a two-level bar and dining area, as well as 11 of Darwin’s own craft beers on tap.  The beers have been so popular with customers, that for his next project, Darwin is currently building a brewery where he’ll be able to produce his Peruvian-inspired beers like the Ayawasca, the Inca Mocha, and even a Chicha Morada-inspired beer.

Suviche | Miami, Florida  Peruvian chef Jaime Pesaque of Lima’s highly acclaimed Mayta has taken advantage of Florida’s incredible seafood culture to bring Nikkei-inspired cuisine to south Florida.  Suviche now has three locations across Miami, and the newest sports a full Pisco bar.  Dishes on the menu include classic ceviches, tiraditos, and a full sushi menu that goes far beyond your typical sushi bar.  Ají amarillo and other Peruvian chiles are all over the menu for those in need of some legit Peruvian spice.

(Forthcoming) La Mar | Miami, Florida It was a sad day last year when it was announced that the New York location of Gastón Acurio’s La Mar would be closing.  However, residents of South Florida rejoiced when they heard that La Mar would be opening in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in 2014.  Headed by young superstar chef Diego Oka, who most recently worked at the San Francisco outpost of La Mar, this could very well be the biggest Miami restaurant opening of the year.  Oka already helped to open the Chicago outpost of Tanta, which has gotten nothing but rave reviews.  Though the restaurant isn’t scheduled to open until some time in February or March, Oka is busy doing private and teaser events around town to promote the restaurant.  This is going to be big.

Sabores Chilenos | Miami, Florida Just in case you find yourself craving an authentic Chilean empanada, mote con huesillos or even a Curico-style alfajor, this small family-style restaurant tucked away in an unassuming strip mall in Doral will complete your needs.  All flavor and no fuss, Sabores Chilenos is as good as stepping into a Chilean picada on the streets of Santiago.  They serve dishes like grilled fish with ensalada Chilena, carne a lo pobre and a whole slew of traditional Chilean desserts.  Oh, and they have Chilean wine, too.

La Pulpería | Miami, Florida Like we said, we’re not strictly talking South America here, but even if we were, Nicaragua is close enough.  Located in the same plaza as Sabores Chilenos, La Pulpería is a Nicaraguan café and market that is not to be missed.  Especially the market.  After a heavy meal of meat, plantains, yucca, and so on, step in to the market for an overwhelming array of fresh pastries, homemade juices and, the best, Nicaraguan dark chocolate.  Drinks like tamarind with ginger or raspberry with flax seed are a great way to wash down a fantastic meal.  Want something heavier?  Try the freshly made atole, a drink made of corn, milk, and spices, that’s like a hot pudding milkshake all in one.

Cevichino | Miami, Florida Chifa.  Piles of fried shellfish.  Yucca.  Peruvian wine.  Salsa criolla.  Causa.  And so much more.  Unless you’re a construction worker or you happen to work at the nearby hospital, you might never know that Cevichino exists.  But now you do, and you should be glad.  Run by a young man and his not-so-young father, Cevichino might possibly be the best Peruvian food in South Florida.  “Starters” like the jalea pile deep fried shellfish and shrimp high on a bed of yucca, all topped generously with salsa criolla.  The causa is creamy and acidic, a perfect blend of textures.  Unfortunately, they don’t have a license for hard liquor like Pisco, but Peruvian wines are available to wash your generous portions down.