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.

 

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

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?