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Posts Tagged ‘la mar

Calling Las Vegas, New York and Miami…Gaston Acurio’s Peruvian Cuisine is on the Way!

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Traditional Lomo Saltado

Traditional Lomo Saltado

According to today’s Associated Press story published in today’s Florida’s Sun Sentinel newspaper, Gaston Acurio – one of Peru’s top chefs and one of the leaders in Peruvian cuisine around the world – announced his empire will be opening more La Mar seafood restaurant locations in Las Vegas, New York and Miami.

As the article states,

“Acurio hopes to inundate the U.S. and European markets with his brands, from a mall-friendly stuffed potato franchise to microwavable Peruvian favorites and seasonings for grocers. Acurio says investors have been eager to back his projects.”

Acurio brings the best of Peruvian cuisine to the palate of the international gastronomy fans — also named “neo Peruvian cuisine” which is a bit different from what traditional native Peruvian cuisine is all about. So how do you know which one is which? Might be a bit tough if you are not Peruvian or you don’t have a Peruvian friend at your table. Let’s see…I will show you the difference from visuals that might help for one of Peruvian cuisine’s most traditional dishes, the Lomo Saltado. The photo above is the traditional-styled Lomo Saltado which is more home-y, more rustically served, this is how Peruvians eat it every day. Now check the picture in the AP story and you will see it is a bit more refined and styled up. Neither of them are right or wrong, just two different styles. If you want to have the authentic one, you might want to try the traditional style of course. That is how many Peruvians have enjoyed their cuisine for many generations.

There is no question about how Acurio’s efforts have benefited and promoted tremendously the Peruvian gastronomic art (yes, it is an art) around the world. And if you want to learn more about Gaston Acurio, get a refresher of the postings I did earlier, one on his new La Mar restaurant opening in California, and another posting about its ratings.

Look forward to trying the new locations! And if you are a local in any of these three cities, let us know how was your experience!

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Written by Catherine Castro

February 5, 2009 at 8:37 am

Lima Named “Gastronomic Capital of South America” by Bon Appetit Magazine in January 2009 Issue

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peru2Bon Appetit magazine’s January 2009 issue includes an amazing feature story on Peru’s capital city gastronomy with a great background on the origins of its cuisine, naming it the “Gastronomic Capital of South America”!!

Here is a great excerpt to summarize the richness of Lima’s cuisine:

“Peru really is blessed with an almost ludicrous variety of natural resources, from the great seafood of the Pacific coast to the vegetables of the temperate highlands of the Andes to the wild tropical abundance of herbs and fish from the Amazon. And the country has one of the world’s most interesting natural culinary fusions […] Perhaps most importantly, Peru is in the midst of a nationwide awakening about its own cuisine…”

And this story is a great source for those who are planning to visit Lima to make sure you try the restaurants named, including:

  • Malabar
  • Restaurant Huaca Pucllana
  • Costanera 700
  • Toshiro’s Sushi Bar
  • Chifa Kam Men
  • La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

And it is even with greater pleasure to share this story after reading how a dear friend from high school has grown so much. Well done, Pedro! Very proud to see your gastronomic success around the world!

Written by Catherine Castro

December 24, 2008 at 12:14 am

Food & Wine Magazine: Top 5 Places to Eat in Lima, Peru

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The November 2008 issue of Food & Wine magazine listed the top five “must-go” restaurants.

These are great restaurants but typically pricey. In a later posting I will compile some smaller-scale restaurants which still give you the great Peruvian cuisine for a lower price. Tough times, tight budgets!

In the meantime, here are the top five:

Astrid Y Gastón: Gastón Acurio’s modern Peruvian spot offers remarkable dishes, like lacquered goat cooked with chicha (corn beer).

Chez Wong: Javier Wong’s restaurant, inside his house, has no menu. Meals start with simple sole ceviche; the next course depends on the chef’s whim and the day’s catch.

El Rincón Que No Conoces: Chef-owner Teresa Izquierdo is a champion of African- and Spanish-influenced Criollo cooking, notable for endless pots of great beans and tripe.

Fiesta: A sophisticated spot serving distinctive dishes from north Peru’s Moche civilization, like quickly grilled cured grouper.

La Mar: Acurio’s ceviche restaurant, which has a San Francisco outpost, serves dozens of versions of cured fish, including a delicate sea urchin. [Check out my earlier posts on the San Francisco La Mar here, and its ratings here]

If you go to each of them in the article, it will give you more information about each restaurant, including exact location in Lima.

Written by Catherine Castro

December 12, 2008 at 11:46 am

It’s Been Named the “Acurio Mania”: La Mar Photo, Reviews and Acurio’s Profile in Food & Wine Magazine

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lamar-pic2Following up from my post on Gaston Acurio’s new La Mar restaurant in San Francisco, CA, Acurio has been profiled in the November 2008 issue of Food & Wine magazine under the title “Peru’s World-Class Cuisine.”

Reviews

“Once in a blue moon, an ambitious new restaurant lives up to its buzz. The principles behind La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, an outpost of a sleek, modern cebiche place in Lima, Peru (where the dish was invented), chose a dream location by the water next to the Ferry Building to open a breezy, resonant and amazingly self-assured operation. Everything about it feels right. “

— By The San Francisco Examiner, and “San Francisco Food Lovers’ Pocket Guide”

“The first U.S. branch of a Lima-based seafooder from Peruvian celebrity chef Gastón Acurio, La Mar Cebicheria Peruana is the latest arrival on the Embarcadero’s up-and-coming Restaurant Row, where it’s serving ceviche and other midpriced Peruvian fare in a setting that includes a large patio overlooking the Bay; the separate Pisco Bar and Lounge, specializing in cocktails made with the titular alcohol, faces the Downtown skyline.”

— By ZAGAT Buzz

“I was pleasantly surprised {…] All my dishes were flavorful and satisfying and yet seemed very light […] I loved the food and the atmosphere. Freshest catch in town. It’s not cheap (I would say our tab was Bar Tartine-like, maybe because of all the small courses adding up), but all in all I think I will go back. Soon.”

— By Chowhound

Written by Catherine Castro

December 4, 2008 at 1:02 am

Lucky You, San Francisco: The Acurio Empire Has Arrived!

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gaston-acurioOne of Peru’s greatest cuisine treasures is Gaston Acurio. A native Peruvian chef, his unmatched vision and superior quality while preparing the food has just arrived this fall in San Francisco, CA (and now I am feeling SO envious to be in the East Coast!). This is his first restaurant in the U.S.

Acurio just opened this fall La Mar Cebicheria Peruana (means The Sea Peruvian Cebiche Restaurant) in the newly renovated Pier 1 1/2 – just north of the Ferry Building. It’s been said that the rear of the restaurant will open onto the marina. Similar to his La Mar restaurant in Lima, Peru, the menu includes “classic Peruvian dishes and ingredients, such as potatoes, tomatoes and chiles, as well as pastas combined with seafood and chile-infused sauces, all adapted to Northern California’s sensibility and ingredients”, as the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Other La Mar restaurants around the world are in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Chile.

This week, the Chronicle also reported chef Jose Luis de Cossío left to return to Andina, the Peruvian restaurant in Portland where he was executive chef before coming to La Mar. Taking his position will be chef Victoriano Lopez, the head chef for all of Acurio’s operations, who helped design the menu and has been at La Mar since it opened in Peru.

And if you want to get to learn more about this “next super chef “, check out his Conde Nast profile story, which states:

Acurio is the most famous chef you’ve never heard of. In the last five years, the 41-year-old has emerged as a celebrity south of the equator: He has more than a dozen high-end restaurants in Peru, with outposts in Mexico, Panama, Chile, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia, and even Spain, plus a comfort-food chain, two fast-food franchises, a culinary school in Lima, a luxury eco-hotel opening next year, and a hit cooking show that plays constantly on Peruvian TV. Acurio’s businesses reportedly made $65 million in 2007, and revenues are expected to nearly double to $120 million in 2008.

So I guess I will either better start planning that trip to San Fran pretty soon…or start working on pitching him the idea to get a La Mar in the Nation’s Capital. Uhhhh…can’t wait!

And thanks to Marcelo Pimentel, my dear friend and correspondent for sending us the scoop from Lima, Peru.

Written by Catherine Castro

November 29, 2008 at 7:16 am