New Inca gold: Peru’s culinary revolution
Gastón Acurio swaggers into his La Mar restaurant in Lima powered by rock star shades, leather jacket and staggering international success. Taking a hearty swig from a foamy pisco sour, one of the greatest chefs in South America unleashes a food manifesto for a new Peruvian world order. “I want chefs from Peru to be as internationally celebrated as footballers are from Brazil,” laughs the 43-year-old. “When I started my career there were no culinary schools in Peru, now there are 6,000 Peruvian trainee chefs. That’s enough for an army. An army that can take over the world.” As a student Acurio told his family he was studying law in Europe. Instead he was secretly learning the culinary alchemy that would create a restaurant empire that today stretches from South to Central America via San Francisco to Madrid. Today his face illuminates countless books, posters, magazines and television shows. He’s a real Latin star. “There is an perception that Peru is a developing country,” he says gesturing at the smart Miraflores diners and achingly cool restaurant design. “As you can see that’s not always the case. We just need to capture our Peruvian essence and present to the world in a sophisticated international way.” To read full story, click on any image.