With our noses to the grind-stone and ears to the ground in Latin America, we have been hearing the rumblings of a new wave in the Latin American culinary revolution, as hot young chefs set out for green pastures and old-school Greats take it back to their roots. If you are the kind of person who hates nothing more than returning from a trip only to realize you failed to visit the city’s hippest new restaurant, then this one’s for you- listen up and get in line.
Lima 2012- Sorry, we meant London 2012, but with the spate of new Peruvian openings set to hit the city in the coming months-you would forgive us for being confused. The first to note is Lima, the first international offering from Peruvian wonder chef and Dehouche favourite Virgilio Martinez. Martinez first caught our attention over a trip to Lima’s exotic Surquillo market followed by his 7 course taster menu (read about it here), but 2012 is destined to be the year he bursts out from the shadows of house-hold names, Gaston Acurio and Rafael Osterling, to bring a new edge and face to Peruvian cuisine. Lima is scheduled to open mid-June in fiztrovia, hot on the heels of Martin Morales’ Ceviche, heralded as London’s ‘first serious introduction to Peruvian food’, which opened back in March. While Ceviche focuses on tapas-style dishes, including various ceviches, seafood skewers and sides, Lima will act as a palate for Martinez to showcase his version of Peruvian haute-cuisine, hopeful as he is that British seafood can compete with Peru’s Pacific waters. Also look out for Peruvian fusion restaurant Sushi-Samba and American export Coya later in the year.
So if a few too many rounds of pisco sours in Soho has left you hankering after the real thing, then it is high time to jump on a plane to Peru, where you can head straight to the hotly anticipated Palacio Nazarena’s, Cusco latest luxury hotel set to open at the end of June. With Palacio Nazarenas, Orient Express have taken a definitive step towards appealing to a more cutting-edge, contemporary market while maintaining the essence of Cusco’s cultural heritage: an exclusive boutique hotel complete with restored frescos, colonial ceilings and original Incan walls dotted throughout the hotel. And the head chef? You guessed It- Martinez is in residence to demonstrate what he can do with the most exotic of Peruvian ingredients, many sourced locally from sustainable farming communities.
Back in Lima (the original Lima that is), Peruvian master chef Gaston Acurio’s Los Bachiche is the hot ticket on the culinary calendar for 2012. While Europe delights in Peruvian classics, Peru has turned the tables, with Los Bachiche merging classic Italian with a Peruvian twist. Set to open in May, if the photos are anything to go by, we think he might be on to something.
Jump 3700 Kilometres away to the tropical skies of Rio de Janeiro and you will notice a trend emerging: Last week saw celebrity chef Claude Troisgros, famed for his Michelin star upbringing and strong influence on Brazilian cuisine, launch his new restaurant CT Trattorie in Jardim Botanico. CT has built his career on using classic French techniques to bring out the best of local Brazilian ingredients (more here), and in 32 years as a professional chef in Brazil he has never once strayed from his French heritage… until now. While CT Trattorie may be a nod to his paternal Italian grandparents and a childhood spent watching them role out fresh pasta on the kitchen table, dishes are adapted using local Brazilian ingredients to create original combinations such as Spaghetti Carbonara with Carne Seca. So it seems that while the young stars are setting out to make a name from themselves, the old masters aren’t ready to give up their crowns without a fight.
To make sure you know exactly where to eat, what to order and who to name-drop over dinner, contact Dehouche: Our tailor-made trips include Dehouche’s 24 hour concierge service and expert tips on where to eat across the continent.