Cocktail of the month at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

A new cocktail joins the list of freshening beverages signed at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel.

After a long walk around the Lost City of the Incas, cocktails are a wonderful reward!After a long walk around the Lost City of the Incas, this blend of crème de cassis, passion fruit, organic tea and pisco is surely invigorating.

Cocktails at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

 Learn here how to do it yourself with the below recipe

1½ oz Green tea macerated in pisco
¾ oz Crème de Cassis
¾ oz Passion Fruit juice
½ oz Organic black tea syrup
Place an organic black tea bag previously
soaked in warm water, to obtain tea vapor
when mixed with the Orchard cocktail. Pour
into a martini glass.

Going to give it a go? Share your creations with us on Facebook and Twitter with hashtag #InkaterraCocktails

The Peru effect: the rise of Peruvian restaurants across the globe

Finally, Peruvian food has emerged from the shadows and is receiving the international recognition it deserves. In London, the Peruvian restaurant Lima and its head chef Virgilio Martinez were recently awarded Michelin star status (their first of many, we hope) – the first such accolade for a Peruvian restaurant in London. Another proponent of Peruvian food is Martin Morales who, after the phenomenal success of Ceviche in Soho, is opening a second restaurant in Shoreditch. It seems that Londoners can’t get enough of the taste of Peru. And with good reason too…

Virgilio Martinez

You wouldn’t think that nestled away in the corner of South America lays one of the most varied gastronomies. But it is Peru’s location that makes its cuisine so diverse. The seafood rich Pacific Ocean is on Peru’s doorstep, the Amazon gives birth to exotic fruits and herbs, and the Andes provides the perfect climate for potatoes and corn. It is the availability of full, fresh ingredients and the fusion of many different cultures that really sets Peru apart. With common dishes like cerviche, to chifa and nikkei – drawn from Chinese and Japanese migration into Peru, or dishes that can trace their ancestry back thousands of years like pachamanca – succulent meat, traditional, local potatoes and lima beans cooked on hot stones buried underground; Peru really comes alive with its food, and there is a dish to suit even the most discerning of critics.

Peruvian Food

Host to the largest food festival in Latin America, Mistura, Peru – and the Peruvians – take their food exceptionally seriously, with a passion to rival even that of the Italians. Fresh, spicy and full of variety, Peru offers a culinary experience like no other. But, with the bold Mexican and Caribbean flavours to the north, possibly the world’s best steak producer to the south and vibrant, fruity tastes from the east, it is easy to see why Peru has sat somewhat in the shadows until the efforts of a brave few to export it worldwide; and we should all be thankful they did.

Gaston Acurio

London best keep its ears – and stomachs – open for the arrival of “the Peruvian Jamie Oliver”, Gaston Acurio, who is rumoured to have his sights set on the city. It’s about time the rest of the world learnt that food in Peru isn’t just limited to a roasted guinea pig, or half leg of llama, although they still taste delicious too.

 

Our Gazpacho Soup Recipe

Gazpacho Soup

We’ve had quite a few requests for our Gazpacho Soup Recipe from Inkaterra. You can now make it in the comfort of your own home with the below recipe. We’d love to see your photos. Share your gazpacho soup images with us on our Facebook wall or on Twitter with hashtag #InkaterraGazpacho

Ingredients

Ingredients

Preparation

Tomatoes

1. Place the red tomato, red pepper, olive oil, dijon mustard, white vinegar, salt and pepper in a blender and mix them for 2-3 minutes until creamy (no lumps)

2. Allow to cool for a period of two hours

3. Add cut onion, celery, avocado and pepper in brunoise if wanted

The Inkaterra Gazpacho Soup

Competition to win Ceviche new cookbook ‘Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen’

We’re pleased to announce an exclusive competition for all our loyal followers! You could be in with the chance of winning a copy of the new cookbook Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen from Ceviche London. For the first time, Peruvian restaurateur and cook, Martin Morales, whose top London restaurant Ceviche opened to enormous critical and commercial success in 2012, shows you how to make the best ceviche and over 100 other Peruvian dishes. This is laid back, fuss-free and delicious Peruvian food.

Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen

Over 500 years of fusion have taken place in Peru for its culinary offering to become what it is today. Starting with the indigenous culture and then blending it with flavours and cooking styles brought over by migrants from Spain, Italy, Africa, China and Japan, Peruvian food has evolved into being one of the most fascinating, diverse, rich and healthy in the world.

Ceviche

From Ceviche’s signature dishes, authentic Peruvian dishes and new creations, Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen cookbook showcases the innovative food coming out of Lima, the Amazon and the Andes today. From sizzling barbecued anticucho skewers, to superfood quinoa salads, juicy stir fry saltados and lucuma ice cream, Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen brings the unique and delicious dishes from Peru to your home kitchen.

Peruvian Cuisine at Ceviche

To be in with the chance of winning this cookbook, all you have to do is tell us why you love Peruvian food in the comment box below. Our chosen winner will be announced in two weeks time on July 12th.  You can also enter via Twitter and Facebook, using hashtag #PeruvianKitchen. Follow us on Twitter @InkaterraHotels and on Facebook here.

With the Ceviche ethos of helping others cook at home, Martin and his team are travelling around Britain on tour. Ceviche Peruvian Kitchen On Tour will run from the 1st to the 15th of July 2013. Tickets are selling fast. Please book your place now to avoid disappointment.

We look forward to hearing all the reasons why you love Peruvian food. Here is some inspiration from Martin Morales himself.

‘There is a Peruvian saying my great aunt Carmela taught me, aquí se cocina con cariño, which means ‘here we cook with loving care’. This is the motto at our restaurant Ceviche – it’s what Peruvian food is all about. The other side of what we do is sazón – the quest to achieve a perfect balance of flavours. I have spent a lifetime working on this. Like most Peruvians, I am obsessed with cooking and I love sharing our amazing food.’ Martin Morales

World Environment Day at Inkaterra

World Environment Day

World Environment Day is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. World Environment Day activities take place all year round and climax on 5 June every year, involving everyone from everywhere.

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day celebrations is Think.Eat.Save. Think.Eat.Save is an anti-food waste and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your foodprint. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), every year 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. This is equivalent to the same amount produced in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger.

This year’s theme encourages us to become more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices we make and empowers us to make informed decisions. We have a series of initiatives at Inkaterra we are carrying out in celebrate of World Environment Day:

  • Installation of information panels at the reception, lobby, bar and ecocentre
  • Organic menu available throughout the day at ITMP from chef Gustavo Borja and Vladimir Calanche.
  • Contest crafts with recycled materials for children from 5 right up to 13 years old
  • Our lights in service areas such as the reception will be turned off for periods of the day

How will you be participating in World Environment Day? 

Q&A with Gustavo Borja, Executive Chef at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

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Tell us a little about your background and how you came to be at ITMP
My name is Gustavo Borja and I’m from Lima, Peru. I graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Miami, Florida, and worked for the Marriott Marquis in Miami, for the Marriott in West Palm Beach Singer Island, and the National PGI resort in West Palm Beach. I´ve also worked as an advisor for several Peruvian restaurants that opened in Miramar, Florida, before moving back to Peru to work at Inkaterra.

What is the ethos behind the food at ITMP- Both in the main restaurant and at Café Inkaterra?
We want our guests to understand the country and all of its cultural aspects before returning home. To enhance the culinary experience and knowing that our guests are travelling so need to feel strong throughout their trip, we have designed a menu that is both healthy and authentic, selecting each flavour so that the final product is a complete gastronomic experience.

What is so special about Peruvian cuisine?
There are three main elements that make Peruvian cuisine so special: firstly, the variety and taste of our products that is not found elsewhere, like the yellow chili pepper, the potatoes, and the corn; secondly, it’s the ancestral ability to use herbs in the kitchen that gives Peruvians a special talent for seasoning. Finally, it is the influence of different cultures (Chinese, Japanese, Cantonese, Italian) that merge with our very special seasonings and has created a kitchen with a soul, a kitchen with its own identity that is distinct from any other cuisine.

What are the most important or iconic ingredients in Peruvian cuisine?
This question is very difficult because I think that Peruvian cuisine has a significant number of seasonings that make it so special. If I had to highlight one in particular, it would be the yellow peppers – I think this ingredient gives Peruvian cuisine its distinct flavour.

Tell us a little more about the diversity of Peruvian food
The gastronomy of Peru is the most diverse in the world, which is proven by the fact that it has the largest number of dishes. Lima is the gastronomic capital of the Americas and has developed greatly thanks to the incredible creativity in the dishes found here. The finest Andean, Afro-Peruvian, Eastern and Western cuisine are found in Lima. Recently, cooking has become Novo Andean, which incorporates the best products and Andean spices along with balanced dietary preparation.

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How have you incorporated different ingredients and styles of cooking at ITMP?
At Inkaterra we create Peru’s ‘haute cuisine’, which underwent great change during the twentieth century through the Nouvelle Cuisine (or new kitchen).  This refers to a new way of cooking based on creativity and imagination. It resulted in a movement that freed the chefs and allowed the creation of new styles of cooking called “signature cuisine.”

Are there any other chefs particularly that have inspired you?
It is the passion for what I do that inspires me but if I had to name one person in particular it would be my mother.

What’s your favorite dish on the current menu?
The lamb shank; it´s a dish that contains lots of flavours, all beautifully balanced, and the technique we use creates a very soft meat. It comes with a sauce, which is fresh and uniquely flavoured.

And what drink would you wash it down with?
This dish would go very well with a cabernet sauvignon, Zuccardi Q (Argentinian wine). This line of wines is characterised by a fatty nuance that wraps the bobbin with well-balanced tannin shavings, and is a perfect combination of red fruits, pepper and wood.

Finally, if you could eat at any restaurant in the world, where would it be and why?
I don’t think I could choose a restaurant, but I would eat anywhere in Peru! The creativity and the diversity of food ensure Peru has an incredible variety of dishes, unlike anywhere else in the world. The creativity, advance in our cooking techniques, coupled with the assortment of dishes, put us in a privileged position.

Inkaterra celebrates the Year of the Quinoa

2013 The Year of Quinoa

The United Nations recently declared 2013 “The International Year of the Quinoa,” and in celebration, we’re sharing a recipe of one of our most popular breakfast dishes: Quinoa pancakes.

A traditional Andean superfood

Quinoa is a highly versatile, gluten-free grain native to the South American Andes and is known for its great nutritional value, as well as its good taste. Over the years its popularity has grown world-wide and today quinoa is commonly known as one of the world’s most popular “superfoods.”

The year of the Quinoa

The quinoa pancakes, among other quinoa delights served at Inkaterra properties, are prepared using traditional Peruvian ingredients and techniques, and the quinoa is purchased local from Andean farmers as part of Inkaterra´s commitment to Sustainable & Social actions. They are a delicious and healthy breakfast dish – the ideal meal before a day of hiking up to Machu Picchu, exploring the many wonders of Cusco or trekking through the Peruvian Amazon.

Quinoa Pancakes

Why not make some yourself? Try out the recipe which has come straight from the Inkaterra kitchen. Share your images with us on twitter at @InkaterraHotels with hashtag #yearofquinoa

QUINOA PANCAKE

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 ½ cups of flour
• 2 eggs
• 5 tablespoons sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon Pisco or brandy
• Approximately ½ cup milk
• 5 tablespoons previously cooked quinoa
• 1 1/2 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
• 2 teaspoons baking powder

PREPARATION:

• Mix eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, pisco, milk and the melted butter.
• Mix the flour and the baking powder separately and then add slowly to the wet mixture until it becomes soft.
• Add the previously cooked quinoa, and add milk if the mixture is too dry.
• Sautee the final mixture in a non-stick frying pan.
• Serve with maple syrup or honey.
• Provecho!

Guest Blogger: Martin Morales – Pisco Sour Day

To celebrate Pisco Sour Day on February 2nd, we invited Martin Morales as our guest blogger for the week. Martin is founder of London Peruvian restaurant Ceviche. In 2010 Peruvian cuisine was almost unknown in the UK but now, its become the foodie craze of the past year, and Ceviche is one of the go-to destinations for authentic Peruvian food in London.



Founder of Ceviche Martin Morales

Martin Morales – Guest Blogger 

After a month of only hearing about sobriety and non-alcoholic cocktails, there is no better way to start February then by celebrating Pisco Sour Day on February 2nd. The Pisco Sour is Peru’s national cocktail and Ceviche’s favourite. It’s a cocktail of Pisco Quebranta, lime, sugar syrup, egg white and Amargo Chuncho bitters. Created in Lima in the early 1900s, it is the perfect aperitif and also goes brilliantly  with our delicious ceviches and anticuchos.

The pisco sour is uplifting, refreshing and a real pick me up that’s why many are saying that its set to take over mojitos. I think its even better. Tastier, edgier, more refreshing and healthier with its higher vitamin c content. And now for a revelation…at Ceviche the Pisco Sour outsells any other cocktail by 10 to 1. We try so hard creating new cocktails, with new fruits, new ingredients. We try infusing Pisco with exotic herbs, unusual or delicious fruits and crazy roots, but nada. Miguel, our Head Barman and I tear our hair out trying to make great drinks with pisco. So much so that he has lost all his hair now. Because the pisco sour always wins.

Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

This has been happening all over the world for decades and decades. Millions of mixologists and bartenders have tried to beat the recipe, create something new or pimp it up. But to no avail. Does egg-white put some people off….naaaa. 1 in 100. People love it. We create new cocktails every week and although our customers love these, the pisco sour just smashes through all of them. Some creations are just perfect. That is why they last 100 years.

Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

I’m a self confessed Pisco Sour obsessive and although its our national drink its actually got international roots. An American entrepreneur named Victor V. Morris first created the Pisco Sour in the late 1910’s as a local alternative to the then fashionable Whisky Sour. He was the owner of Morris’ Bar, located in the heart of central Lima, which was almost exclusively frequented by English-speaking customers and travellers, who started spreading stories around the world of this new, refreshing cocktail that could quench your thirst without impairing your taste buds.

Ava Gardner, John Wayne, Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles became huge fans of the drink. It was rumoured at the time that Ernest Hemingway held the record for the most amount of Pisco Sours drank in one sitting. I think he probably held many records like that!

But the drink wouldn’t have been so popular if it hadn’t had the right ingredients to begin with. Lime has always been a staple of Peruvian cuisine, while Pisco Quebranta (a ‘pure’, single-grape variety of Pisco) suited cocktails perfectly. American by design, Peruvian by nature, Pisco Sour is the happiest of coincidences in cocktail history.  Morris’ Bar closed its doors shortly before the death of its owner, but soon enough established hotels such as Bolivar, Crillón and Maury took the recipe and perfected it by adding angostura bitters and egg white. Luckily for us, the bars of these hotels are still open and continue to offer some of the best Pisco Sours in Lima today.

Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness

Apart from of course Ceviche in London, some of my favourite places in Lima to have pisco sour are El Pisquerito, Bravorestobar, Bar Ingles del Hotel Country Club, Hotel Bolivar, Huaringas, Rosa Nautica, Capitan Melendez, Calesa, Amor Amar and Club Nacional.

In Peru there will be a ton of activities. Provinces and cities will have competitions like who can make the biggest pisco sour in the world and who can make the best one, there will be Pisco Sour Festivals and there are competitions for who can make the tastiest things inspired by pisco sour such as cakes, ice cream, desserts and shakes.

How did you celebrate Pisco Sour Day?

A Review of 2012 for Inkaterra

A successful 2012 for Inkaterra

The dawn of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on all that Inkaterra has achieved in 2012; a year filled with great memories, discoveries and successes.

2012 began well with Inkaterra becoming the first Peruvian hotel chain to win the ‘International Certificate in Sustainable tourism’ by the CU Green Choice Sustainable Tourism Standard. The minister of Tourism and Commerce commented, “It is an honour that a Peruvian hotel chain is the first organization worldwide awarded with such an important Certification.”

February was an exciting time for Inkaterra when two new species of orchids were found at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. This harks back to an observation made back in 2001 by the American Orchid Society who announced that in all probability Inkaterra has the world’s biggest collection of native orchid species (372) in their natural habitat, within a private setting.

Guides at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Inkaterra was in the spotlight again in March with Conde Nast Johansens, the international luxury travel guide,  who nominated Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel as the “Most Excellent Eco Resort” in the 2012 Awards for Excellence. Inkaterra was the only hotel to receive an award in Peru.

The conservation efforts of Inkaterra were highlighted in April with the team picking up the award for Conservation at The Tourism of Tomorrow Awards. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organised by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and the winners were announced at the WTTC’s Global Summit in Tokyo, April 16-19, 2012.

The Inkaterra Team pick up the award for Tourism of Tomorrow

Throughout the summer we saw the continuation of the Peruvian food craze with the opening of fine dining restaurant Lima in London. With other Peruvian food diners launching across the globe, and the ever-growing empire of Gaston Acurio, Peruvian food is considered one of the most varied and rich of the world. The World Travel Awards took note of the trend naming Peru as the Best Culinary Destination in the world in 2012. Hailed as a ‘gastronomic superpower’, the South American country fought off stiff competition from notable foodie destinations such as France, China, Italy, Spain and Thailand to come out on top as the best place in the world to eat.

Ceviche

Festivals in Peru are a time for celebration and remembrance. This June, as they do every year, visitors from across South America and around the world travelled to Cusco for the annual Inti Raymi festival, the most important ceremony of the Inca Empire calendar. Each winter solstice, native residents honour the Sun God marking the beginning of a new year: the Festival of the Sun.

There were celebrations a plenty in October, as Inkaterra was recognised for the third consecutive year at this year’s LATA Awards in London. This year Inkaterra was awarded for its efforts towards sustainability.

November was an exciting time for Peru, Inkaterra, and birding enthusiasts across the world. Inkaterra Associación (ITA), worked alongside the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism (MINCETUR) & PROMPERU as co-organisers, to launch Peru’s first ever Birding Rally Challenge. The challenge was a great success with the winning team from Louisiana State University, nicknamed the ‘Tigrisomas’, identifying 493 species of birds! The UK team – The Forest Falcons – came a close second, narrowly missing out on being crowned the winners by just three species.

The Birding Rally Challenge

In November, the awards continued with Inkaterra being nominated in The World Travel Awards for the World’s Leading Corporate Social Responsibility Programme at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. We were also delighted to received the Relais & Chateaux Sustainability Award at the R&C Congress in Torino.

To round off an excellent year, in December, Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel was awarded first position in Peru in the Travel + Leisure 500 Best Hotels of the World in 2013.

Another great accolade for Inkaterra was brought about by education. Mr. Diego Comín, Professor at Harvard Business School (HBS) presented Inkaterra in its very own unique case study for Harvard Business School. The case discusses Inkaterra as a leading Peruvian ecotourism organisation and the unique business model that is currently in place.

2013 looks to be an exciting year already, with a further Birding Rally Challenge already in planning, and the opening of Inkaterra’s Sacred Valley property ‘Inkaterra Hacienda Urubamba’, due in the second half of the year. On that optimistic note, Inkaterra looks forward to 2013 and wishes everyone a joyous Christmas, and a happy New Year.

Sunrise over the Peruvian Amazon River

In the spotlight: Gastón Acurio’s Restaurant Empire

We have much to thank Gastón Acurio for. This iconic chef has been the catalyst for the great movement in popularity for Peruvian food across the world. His first restaurant Astrid y Gastón’ was an instant success in the city of Lima, and over the past decade his food and restaurant empire has gone from strength to strength. With over 30 restaurants and a weekly TV show, Gastón is Peru’s most famous chef, and arguably the best known Peruvian in the world. He is now set to open his 2nd restaurant in Spain in the heart of Barcelona. The Tanta Bistro will bring all the richness of Peruvian cuisine to the people of Barcelona. All cravings of Peru will be met, and there will no doubt be new avid fans of Peruvian food.

Gastón recently collaborated with Jordi Roca, famous Spanish Pastry Chef for the BBC’s Collaboration Culture Project. The BBC joined 14 creative people from around the world together, and then paired them up to work on an art project together. Jordi Roca flew to the city of Lima, where himself and Gaston devised sweets made from different varieties of Peruvian potatoes grown high in the Andes, such as potato and chilli jellies and roses made from potato petals and caramel. Gastón and Jordi took to the streets of Lima to give people the chance to taste their collaboration. The Mayor of Lima and the president’s wife were among the few who were lucky enough to taste their take on Peruvian potatoes.

The growth in popularity of Peruvian cuisine would not have been possible without him. His mission isn’t just about opening restaurants, but about selling the country of Peru to the world. He has been known to describe his country as a happy marriage between history and opportunity, melding a profusion of international influences: Amerindian, European, African, Chinese and Japanese, with Peru’s extraordinarily diverse climate and geography as it’s backdrop.

Food is a big part of the Peruvian way of life and subsequently a focus across all of the Inkaterra properties. We blend traditional Andean food with contemporary cuisine, creating an innovative fusion-style fare, and always impeccably served. For those that love indulging in organic and fresh produce, Peru is the go-to-destination, with Inkaterra the ideal place to rest your head.

As Peruvian food continues to grow in popularity, so too will Gastón. Long may the love of Peruvian food foster across the world.