Apega, the organizers of Lima’s Mistura food festival, have announced today in a press release that 26-year-old Milagros Herrera has been declared winner of the “Young Dessert Chef” contest at this year’s fair. Herrera is a promising pastry chef from Lima who currently works at Cala Restaurante in Barranco.
According to the press release, Herrera’s prize-winning dessert included a variety of typical Peruvian ingredients and was inspired by her mother’s cooking. Herrera created a very original dessert, described as a “quinoa creme brulee on an alfajor, lacquered strawberries, and purple chicha gelatin,” that she called “Memories of my Mother.”
According to the press release, the dish was inspired by her mother’s arroz con leche, but Herrera made the treat uniquely hers by trading out the rice for quinoa. Participants in all Mistura food contests this year were encouraged to incorporate quinoa into their dishes, as it is the International Year of Quinoa as declared by the United Nations.
Herrera told Apega that “I’m so happy to have won this contest. The thing I want most is to open a bakery, and to travel in Europe so I can keep studying. Hopefully I’ll get to make these dreams a reality, soon!”
Apega reports that the finalists’ desserts were evaluated by an expert panel based on the presentation of the dish, creativity, aesthetic sensibility, personal presentation, and quality. Winner made a dish incorporating a number of very Peruvian elements.