This year has been a busy one in Cusco and we’re not just talking about the usual tourism flow.
The Capital of the Inca Imperium has been flooded throughout the year with different national and private gastronomic organizations, worldwide recognized Peruvian chefs, forums, contests and vendors serving up different tasting options.
For a bit of background, the popular Benéfico, an event run in the San Pedro market located in the center of Cusco, brought in chefs from the Peruvian government food program “Generación con Causa” (Cause Generation), as well as chefs from Palmiro Ocampo (1087 Restaurant), Francesco de Sanctis (Sibaris), Renzo Alcantara (Aranwa Sacred Valley Hotel and Wellness, Urubamba) and Doña María Zúñiga, a well-known traditional food cook. They worked together with some of the most representative Cusquenean traditional restaurants, known as Picanterías, to create a six-course menu. According to Paul Rivera (TaytaFe), one of the chefs running the event, the idea was to build an out of the box experience for a good cause, which in this case was a fundraiser for children at the Juan Pablo II Albergue in Cusco.
During this last part of the year, the Cusquenean gastro-agenda will stay busy as well. A few weeks ago, Gerson Figueroa, executive chef at the Nuna Raymi Restaurant in Cusco, visited Lima for some days to compete for the San Pellegrino Young Chef 2017. He presented a dish called 3072, named after the high ecosystem scale from which the ingredients were harvested. When in Cusco make sure you check the variated novoandean menu at Nuna Raymi. It is a must.
In September, it was all about the gastronomic forum “Susay” (a quechua word meaning to bloom). Nineteen cooks gave speeches about relevant concerns like the transition from one generation to the next when it comes to family farms, an issue that Peru has been facing these past few years. Gastón Acurio (Astrid & Gastón Restaurant), Mitsuharu Tsumura (Maido), the Cusquenean José Luján (Chulpi), José Luis Chávez (Mision Ceviche, NY), and the Generacion con Causa team are some of the people who presented at the event which took place at the Youth Palace Coliseum in Cusco.
And for a great big closing, in December Virgilio Martinez’s new restaurant called Mil will be opened in the Sacred Valley.
This announcement was made by the Best Chef 2017 himself earlier this year. It all became more realistic when his food research team “Mater Iniciativa” started activities in the valley during last May. You can visit @milcentral on Instagram to know how the launch is going.
At such high altitudes, is it possible to make Cusco a gastronomic success? We will have to wait and see!
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