Chef Gaston Acurio, Peru’s answer to Jamie Oliver and the owner of a restaurant that’s been named the best in Latin America, has released his first English-language cookbook pitched as the definitive guide to Peruvian cooking.
A household name throughout Latin America and national hero in his native Peru, Acurio released Peru: The Cookbook in the US and Canada this week, which features 500 recipes for the home cook.
In the upper echelons of haute gastronomy, Peruvian cuisine has been touted as the “next big thing” over the last few years, for successfully folding foreign influences into Latin American flavors and birthing entire genres of new cooking: Nikkei cuisine, for instance is a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavours, while Chifa denotes Chinese-Peruvian cuisine.
In Peru: The Cookbook, recipes are divided into chapters such as ceviches, street food, soups, stir-fries, stews, chilies and roasts.
To create authentic Peruvian dishes, readers will need to stock their kitchen with ingredients such as quinoa and aji amarillo chilies, beef lungs and beans.
Credited with nearly single-handedly sparking a cultural revolution and restoring pride in Peru’s culinary heritage, Acurio could be described as the country’s unofficial ambassador to the world.
His influence also spans the globe, with more than 40 restaurants in countries such as Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Spain, Mexico and the US.
Plans are also afoot to join another highly successful Peruvian chef, Virgilio Martinez, in opening a Peruvian restaurant in London.
In 2013, Acurio received the lifetime achievement award and the title of best restaurant for Gaston y Astrid in Lima at the inaugural Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants awards.
The rich, complex flavors of Peru also seduced Spanish chef Ferran Adria, a titan in molecular gastronomy, and his brother Albert Adria to open a Peruvian-inspired Nikkei restaurant in Barcelona called Pakta.
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