Peru : the cookbook by Gastón Acurio
Book of the month
Ever since Ferran Adriá announced in 2011 that Peruvian food held the key to the future of gastronomy and Alain Ducasse said it was the next big food movement, the excitement around Peruvian cuisine has been unavoidable.
Lima is now a culinary destination on the food map; London has a growing number of successful Peruvian restaurants and interest in Peruvian ingredients has never been greater. Peru: The Cookbook is a timely publication and new addition to Phaidon’s best-selling national cuisine series, bringing together a definitive guide to Peruvian home-cooking.
The book includes over 500 authentic recipes that reflect the rich culture and cuisine of the country and has been put together by Chef and national celebrity, Gastón Acurio. Considered to be the “Jamie Oliver of the Andes,” Acurio is renowned for his work in promoting Peruvian cuisine around the world and for his philanthropic work for the under-privileged. He has his own television show, millions of fans on social media and many say that the country’s presidency would be his for the asking.
With its coast, mountains and rainforests, Peru benefits from very distinct ingredient groups and cultures. Often referred to as the original fusion food, and for good reason, Peruvian dishes are diverse and unexpected. The food is underpinned by Incan origins, particularly in the use of corn, potatoes (of which more than 4,000 varieties are grown in Peru) and chillies. However it has also been enriched, adapted and added to by centuries of immigration. The Spanish, African, Chinese, Japanese and, most recently, Italian and French have all played a large part in what is known today as Peruvian food.
The book includes an entire chapter on ceviche, possibly the most common export of Peruvian cuisine, alongside the tiradito and other raw and marinated dishes with its infinite variations of Leche de Tigre (the citrus-based marinade the ceviche ‘cooks’ in). Throughout the various chapters Acurio introduces the reader to ingredients and techniques that will be new, for example: Chupe de Camarones (a shrimp-based soup) and Tacu Tacus (rice and bean patties) and the pachamanca (a stew of meats, tubers and greens).
These dishes sit alongside more familiar dishes such as tamales and quinoa stews. Street food features heavily and there is a chapter on drinks and cocktails for those who want to serve the perfect Pisco Sour along with numerous other authentic refreshments using the national drink of Peru.
This book will find an audience with home cooks and experienced chefs alike, giving a comprehensive insight into a cuisine that is massively growing in popularity from a chef who is in the world’s spotlight when it comes to Peruvian cooking.
About the Author:
Gastón Acurio was born in Lima, Peru, in 1967. He has created an international empire, exporting Peruvian cuisine around the world. Acurio owns more than 44 international restaurants, including three locations of La Mar restaurant in the USA. He has plans to open more restaurants around the world imminently, including in Washington, DC in 2015.
Acurio is a television celebrity in Peru and is met by tens of thousands of fans wherever he makes a public appearance. People have started endorsing Gastón Acurio as the next Peruvian president in several newspaper articles, Facebook fan pages, television debates and a new movie, Finding Gastón, from Peruvian director Patricia Perez. His main restaurant Astrid y Gastón is on the San Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants list at number 18. He won the lifetime achievement award at the Latin America Best Restaurants 2013.
Launching a decade ago with the critically acclaimed The Silver Spoon, this pioneering series introduces authentic recipes from countries around the world to an international audience of home cooks. Each beautifully designed book celebrates the culture and vibrancy of each country with specifically commissioned photography. Most recently Phaidon published the New York Times best seller Mexico. Peru joins a list of featured national cuisines that includes Italian, Spanish, French, Greek, Indian, Lebanese, Thai and Mexican.
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Phaidon’s national cuisine series:
The Silver Spoon (Italian) 2005
1080 Recipes (Spanish) 2007
I Know How to Cook (French) 2009
Vefa’s Kitchen (Greek) 2009
India Cookbook (Indian) 2010
The Lebanese Kitchen (Lebanese) 2012
Thailand: the Cookbook (Thai) 2014
Mexico: the Cookbook (Mexican) 2014
Peru: the Cookbook (Peruvian) 2015