OUT OF THIS WORLD

A cui­sine that has re­cently taken the din­ing mar­ket by storm, Peru­vian flavour is cur­rently trend­ing among con­sumers and here we high­light two of the best Peru­vian restau­rants in the city.

CateringNews Middle East - - Contents -

A look into the growth of Peru­vian cui­sine.

HOW POP­U­LAR IS PERU­VIAN CUI­SINE IN THE MID­DLE EAST?

Diego Sanchez, Head chef, Lima: Peru­vian cui­sine has be­come very pop­u­lar in the re­gion, with an in­flux of con­cepts over the past two years. A part of our phi­los­o­phy at Lima Dubai is to ed­u­cate our guests on the unique diver­sity of Peru’s of­fer­ing, which I be­lieve will con­tinue to in­crease pop­u­lar­ity as guests be­come more aware of the range of dishes, flavours and tex­tures.

Earl Roland Puse, Head chef, Coya: Right now, Peru­vian cui­sine is hap­pen­ing and up­com­ing, every­one is talk­ing about it. It all started with the open­ing of Toro Toro back in 2010. Its suc­cess even­tu­ally opened the doors to many more Peru­vian venues and paved the road for suc­cess for us when we opened Coya Dubai in 2014.

WHAT IS YOUR HERO DISH?

Sanchez: Catch of the day ce­viche, one the most au­then­tic Peru­vian dishes, so ver­sa­tile and best made with the fresh­est in­gre­di­ents, com­bined with cit­rus and mari­nade. We hold firm to the Peru­vian tra­di­tions and tech­niques, com­bin­ing the catch of the day with finely chopped red onion, crispy can­cah corn and our own Tiger’s milk, a cit­rus based mari­nade that cures the fish, cre­at­ing a light and zingy dish packed with flavour and per­son­al­ity. Puse: It is def­i­nitely our se­abass cazuela, these flavours take you on a jour­ney to flavour­land. Due to the dif­fer­ent types of cook­ing meth­ods and a mix of Ja­panese and Peru­vian in­gre­di­ents, the se­abass cazuela has been the top seller in all our Coya out­lets world­wide.

HAVE YOU ADAPTED PERU­VIAN CUI­SINE TO SUIT LO­CAL TASTES?

Sanchez: Lo­cal taste is some­thing that we have strongly con­sid­ered which is why the menu at Lima Dubai is unique to this mar­ket and not just a replica of Lima Lon­don. Some of our in­gre­di­ents are na­tive to Peru and have very spe­cial and unique

flavours that peo­ple here have never tasted be­fore, so we made an ef­fort to bal­ance this with in­gre­di­ents the lo­cal mar­ket will be more fa­mil­iar with.

Puse: As we are a shar­ing con­cept restau­rant the de­liv­ery of our dishes is an ap­peal­ing fac­tor for lo­cal guests. Re­cently we have been sourc­ing more lo­cal in­gre­di­ents and show­cas­ing them to our lo­cal guests, such as fish, herbs and spices.

WHAT ARE THE KEY TRENDS EMERG­ING IN PERU­VIAN CUI­SINE?

Sanchez: Glob­ally, Peru­vian cui­sine is ex­pand­ing into all mar­kets around the world. We have no­ticed a trend mov­ing to­wards us­ing tra­di­tional in­gre­di­ents from Peru as sup­pli­ers in­crease their hold­ing ca­pac­ity based on de­mand. Peru­vian chefs are now us­ing these in­gre­di­ents with their own mod­ern twists and cre­at­ing more of a shar­ing ex­pe­ri­ence around each dish.

Puse: Ce­viche’s! This is the dish that sep­a­rates Peru­vian food from all other cuisines. When en­ter­ing a Peru­vian restau­rant you know you are in for a treat, not just on the culi­nary side but also in the am­bi­ence and at­mos­phere.

WHERE DO YOU SOURCE PRO­DUCE FOR YOUR MENU?

Sanchez: Most of my in­gre­di­ents are sourced di­rectly from Peru. Our lo­cal sup­pli­ers have been in­te­gral in achiev­ing this. Puse: We source our pro­duce from our sup­pli­ers who di­rectly work with lo­cal sup­pli­ers back in Peru. When we opened four years back we were for­tu­nate that pre­vi­ous Peru­vian out­lets had al­ready opened the mar­ket for a few main prod­ucts like chilies, corn and spices. Al­though we still can­not source all the prod­ucts we wish, we are slowly get­ting there. It’s just a mat­ter of time un­til Peru­vian cui­sine be­comes one of the most dom­i­nant one in the UAE.

WHAT PROD­UCTS DO YOU FIND CHAL­LENG­ING TO SOURCE?

Sanchez: Pota­toes. Peru­vian pota­toes are a key in­gre­di­ent in truly au­then­tic dishes. Peru has around 3500 dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of pota­toes of which cur­rently I can source only about eight. How­ever I am work­ing

closely with our sup­pli­ers and hope to in­clude more va­ri­eties on the menu soon. Puse: We have been try­ing to source out Ama­zo­nian river snails for al­most two years. It is a prod­uct that still hasn’t reached UAE soil. We are try­ing to be the first ones to bring it over and aim to make ev­ery­thing from Peru avail­able in the UAE for an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence.

HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR MENU EVOLV­ING OVER THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?

Sanchez: Vir­gilio Martinez, ex­ec­u­tive chef at Lima and owner of Cen­tral Peru, is a per­son that cre­ates new ideas ev­ery day, some­times ev­ery hour and is con­stantly work­ing to evolve our of­fer­ing. Lon­don and Dubai are cities where peo­ple are al­ways look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent, some­thing new and on trend and we work along­side Vir­gilio to get ahead of trends and pro­duce some­thing unique.

Puse: As Coya be­comes a brand of its own, on the way to open­ing our fifth venue in Monaco, we try to align our menus up to 60% and the re­main­ing 40% to each chef’s pref­er­ences and lo­ca­tion. We are con­tin­u­ously work­ing on new dishes which will re­lease them at the right time. So stay tuned.

WHAT IS THE FU­TURE FOR PERU­VIAN CUI­SINE?

Sanchez: Peru­vian food has many facets and fu­sions and it is very im­por­tant for a chef in Dubai us­ing these tech­niques to con­sider the lo­cal mar­ket by trans­form­ing the fu­sions into mod­ern cre­ations yet be­ing true to the cui­sine. I be­lieve the in­ter­est in Peru­vian food will only in­crease as we are able to share our pas­sion for the dishes we cre­ate and ed­u­cate our guests on the true diver­sity of the cui­sine.

Puse: The fu­ture is look­ing very pros­per­ous es­pe­cially for us at Coya. We have made a mark in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi in our first year and it’s only a mat­ter of time un­til we source out all the prod­ucts that we wish to have to be able to cook the dishes that will trans­port guests to Peru.

Earl Roland Puse, Head chef, Coya

Diego Sanchez Head chef, Lima

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