Como Sur | South American Gastronomy

All posts tagged #peru

[photo: Selecting Stones]

Gastón Acurio Is Giving Lots Back

It’s a story that’s been developing for nearly five years — Gastón Acurio, famed Peruvian chef with over 35 restaurants in 12 countries around the world, is giving back to the Peruvian community.  Nearly six years ago he set up a culinary school in the Peruvian desert near Pachacútec, aimed at giving Peruvian youth a chance to learn a skill.  Classes are taught as they would be at a culinary school anywhere else in the world, though at the end of the students’ time in the school, they receive a paid externship at one of Acurio’s many restaurants.  The idea that food could affect a nation and give youth a chance at a better life caught on, and is now a film entitled Peru Sabé, which premiered last year.

With a school built and an empire that shows no sign of getting smaller, you would think that Acurio might just stop and enjoy what he’s accomplished.  However, that’s not who he is.  As part of his ongoing philanthropic work, Acurio is now putting gardens and kitchens into grade schools in the Pachacútec area.  The goal is to give children, from the start of their education, the chance to understand and work with fresh foods, ultimately leading to a better life.  There is an incredible video of the process here, with more news and updates sure to come.  It’s nice to see a chef with such success and fame giving back to the land that made him famous.  [via Somos, Peru Sabé, La Republica]

Peru’s Reach Expands In Santiago

Edilberto Pérez has been cooking in Santiago since 1992.  He is the owner of the Ají Seco chain of Peruvian restaurants, and soon-to-be owner of Sol de Máncora, his new project in Vitacura along with Chilean business partner Tulio Hernández.  Additionally, his 1500-seat Ají Seco is set to open soon in the La Florida district of Santiago.  Along with the help of his siblings and their savings, he opened his first restaurant, Alto Perú.  Since then, his empire has expanded to 14 restaurants across Santiago that employ more than 500 people, at least 80% of whom are Peruvian.  The root of his success?  Hungry Chileans looking for the unique flavors that Peruvian food has to offer.  Some of Pérez’s former employees have gone on to enjoy their own success with the opening of their own Peruvian restaurants.  At this point it seems there are no limits to what Peruvian food can achieve in both Santiago, and Chile at large. [via Mostos y Destilados, La Tercera]

[photo: Travel and Leisure]

Argentina, Chile, and Peru make T + L’s 2013 Hot List

[photo: Refugia]

[photo: Refugia]

Coming in at #44, #54, and #59, Argentina, Chile, and Peru (respectively) are included in Travel and Leisure’s 2013 list of hottest new hotels.  The list spans the entire world with a heavy focus on Asia and Europe, but South America wasn’t left out.  At #44, Argentina’s Hub Porteño apparently has such a well-connected owner that all one need do is ask and the Buenos Aires elite could be at your fingertips in moments.  They also offer bespoke experiences that can include everything from experiences with art and fashion.  All bespoke trips include a guide/driver and dinner at Buenos Aires’ finest dining establishments.  At #54, Chile’s Refugia in Chiloé offers a true Chilean experiences with the touches of luxury one would expect from a 12-suite hotel.  The hotel owns its own boat, Williche, which takes guests on various excursions around the Archipelago.  Finally, at #59, Peru’s Palacio Nazarenas in Cuzco is just within reach of Machu Picchu.  Chef Virgilio Martinez wows diners with his modern Peruvian cuisine at restaurant Senzo, offering an all-inclusive foodie dream stay in the Andes.  Ecuador, Brazil and Mexico ranked high on the list as well.  [via Travel and Leisure]

Peru is Expanding

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[photo: Big Hospitality]

Peru managed to get two placements (3 total in the top 100) in this year’s edition of San Pellegrino’s Top 50 Restaurants in the World, and it seems that isn’t all that’s expanding.  Gastón Acurio (Astrid y Gastón) and Virgilio Martínez (Central) will be partnering to open a new project in London.  Their hope is to give the larger world a chance to try Peruvian food and for Peruvian cooks to showcase their talents abroad.  [via Big Hospitality]

[photo: San Pellegrino]

San Pellegrino 50 Best Latin American Restaurants

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[photo: San Pellegrino]

In a press release posted on San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants website, Peru will play host to the first edition of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.  The event will be held on September 4th, 2013 in Lima, Peru.  Cusqueña is the event’s main sponsor.  With the fabric of the world’s restaurants changing rapidly and the success of San Pellegrino’s Top 50 of Asia, it’s only logical that the next list would be in a burgeoning market.  The event promises to be exciting.  Stay tuned for updates.