I was lucky that last November I was able to travel to one of my bucket list destinations: Machu Picchu, Peru. To get there from Cusco it took several hours and multiple buses and train rides but when I finally started walking up those steps and get to the top, a little out of breath, my mouth dropped . It is just as spectacular as I thought it would be, so worth it! I luckily had no altitude sickness nor headaches so I truly enjoyed my time on site and explored every nook and cranny and pestered my guide with all kinds of questions. He was but to happy to oblige and explain more and more. And every time I looked up or turned around the scenery changed, it was simple breathtaking!
I spent 2 weeks in Lima for my day job but did manage to squeeze in some amazing food discoveries, such as Delectable Peru Gourmet Tours.
Leche de tigre on its way, thanks to Delectable Peru Gourmet Tours (Photo courtesy of Leeks and High Heels)
Founder and CEO Erika [La Madrid] is a force of nature and a supreme foodie. She tailored a market tour just for me as their regular schedule didn't fit my non-stop work schedule. She took me to a fruit stand Fruteria Ortiz and I tried fruits I never heard of, nor ever seen in my life. She showed me the local rural market that has been around for ages and her favourite food area of Lima, Barranco, where we paused at a typical restaurant Taberna Isolina for Ceviche of course and a Pisco Sour Cocktail, but of course indeed. We stopped by a modern bakery El Pan de la Chola focused on healthy and nutritional homemade bakes.
Delectable Peru also offers cooking classes and themed food tours. Lima has an incredible food reputation and a food tour is exactly what you need to get exposure to this superb food culture and its history – Thank you Erika for your time and passion!
I had the utmost pleasure to snatch up a table at Central, the number 4 on The Worlds 50 best restaurants. The tasting menu of altitudes showcased the unusual and very different richness of Peru terroir. It was a total new foodie experience and I have to say at times the flavours were very foreign to my European palate.
My favourite food spot was Cosme – the food was simply delicious and the chef's food philosophy goes way beyond cooking with local ingredients. James Berckemeyer is a strong advocate for better waste management in the city and pioneers turning trash into art. The restaurant is filled with 'trash art' and his emblem is the vulture symbolizes taking recycling to the next level.
I was so impressed with his food and really loved his quinoa with pesto and of course the National dish of Peru: ceviche. I make it regularly as I am addicted to it now:
Cod ceviche and quinoa with pesto (Photo courtesy of Leeks and High Heels)
For the ceviche, I used fresh cod, thinly sliced. The Tigre de Leche poured over it is made from lemon juice, red onion and chilli. Serve with a cilantro salad. (Plate: Serax Surface collection by Sergio Herman)
For the quinoa, I used tricolor quinoa with a home-made pesto of basil, parsley, almonds and pine nuts. (Plate: Serax Pure collection by Pascale Naessens)