Peruvian cuisine has always been one of the best in the world, but only knew the Peruvians knew about it.
This situation changed some years ago when Gastón Acurio prepared a recipe that had communication as its main ingredient. "If we have the best food, all we have to do is make it known by presenting it the right way, but not losing its roots," was the approach taken by Gastón, who for the last eight years has been BBVA Continental's image and its ambassador. Today, after a little more than 10 years, Peruvian food has become a source of pride for the entire country, and great dishes like "ceviche" (raw fish or shellfish dish) and "ají de gallina" (chicken in a spicy sauce) have gained world renown.
At the time of this conversation, the cook – he prefers this term to chef – is working with his team on a new dish: causa de tres papas. Causa is a delicious dough made with potatoes, of which there are over 4,000 varieties in Peru. This new creation will be accompanied by tempura and an as yet unknown shrimp mayonnaise. "What if we use causa dough made with purple potato?” he says to his team. "That way we give the dish its own history". The team agrees and they proceed to the kitchen. Shoulders to the wheel.
How important is the history behind a dish?
It is essential. Food is not just taste, as it was 20 years ago. Today, eating is an experience and a life opportunity that awakens individual and group memories. A dish is enriched by its history, beginning in the countryside, where the farmer gains more income and a better family situation thanks to developments in gastronomy. It is the history of the place where the potato comes from; it is the story of the lad who works in the restaurant, and of the cook who has created the dish. Transmitting this chain of stories makes it possible to have a unique life sharing experience.
Mexican tacos are known all over the world. Can Peru have a dish that is recognized everywhere?
Afiche Gastón Acurio
Gastón Acurio at BBVA Continental
Josep Roca and Gastón Acurio