Sunday, September 10, 2006

Peruvian Chefs Delight Sao Paulo

Teresa Izquierdo and Eduardo Castañón in Sao Paulo.
Photo: Radio Programas del Perú

The recent Peruvian Food Festival, held at the Sao Paulo Intercontinental Hotel from August 25 to September 2, delighted paulistas, as the residents of Sao Paulo are called.

Two key Peruvian chefs traveled from Lima to Brazil in order to oversee the Festival. Eduardo Castañón, chef at two of Lima's most famous restaurants La Rosa Naútica and Casa Hacienda Moreyra, along with Teresa Izquierdo, from El Rincón Que No Conoces.

In 2005, 43 thousand Brazilians came to Peru as tourists, close to half from the greater Sao Paulo region. This annual festival is part of an effort to promote Peruvian cuisine in the Brazilian economic capital.

The two chefs showcased both traditional as well as cutting-edge Peruvian cuisine, cooking at the Tarsila restaurant located in the Intercontinental. They were selected as the ambassadors of Peruvian cuisine to Brazil by the Peruvian Comission for the Promotion of Peru, Prom Perú, organizers of the event.

Intercontinental Executive Chef Marcelo Pinheiro, hosted the opening event, which also featured criolla music, pisco sours, and traditional dances.

The buffet menu included anticuchos de pez espada(swordfish anticuchos), conchas a la parmesana (Parmesan clams), and mejillones a la chalaca (Callao style mussels). The main courses included soltero arequipeño, ceviche de lenguado, ceviche mixto al coco(mixed ceviche in coconut milk), tiradito de lenguado amarillocarpaccio de pulpo al pimentón, (octopus paprika carpaccio), arroz con mariscos (seasoned rice with shellfish), mero a la chorrillana, ají de gallina, and a pastel de yuca, (yuca pastry). Classic Peruvian desserts were on offer such as mazamorra moradasuspiro de lúcuma, picarones, and crema volteada de quinua.

Teresa Izquierdo with Brazilian chef, Benedita Ricardo de Oliveira, Bené.
Photo: Radio Programas del Perú

One special moment during the Festival was when Teresa Izquierdo met Brazilian chef, Benedita Ricardo de Oliveira, known as Bené. Both chefs work tirelessly to promote the traditional flavors of their respective countries. Teresa Izquierdo has been cooking for 60 years, and specializes in criollo cuisine laced with African-influenced flavors. Bené, a chef for over 35 years, is one of the most important names in the Brazilian cooking world.

Radio Programas del Perú and El Comercio both commented on this Peruvian Food Festival in Sao Paulo.

And as long as we are talking about Teresa Izquierdo, back in March, she was one of 12 Peruvian culinary figures awarded the Premio Manka, Manka Award, honoring chefs, gastronomical researchers, culinary historians, and food journalists.

Teresa Izquierdo and other Peruvian culinary figures
receive Premio Manka.
Photo: El Comercio

The word manka in Quechua, the indigenous Andean language, means clay cooking pot, and thePremio Manka is in fact a clay pot (see picture above), the ancestral culinary tool used by varied Peruvian cultures over time and into the present day.

This award honors and celebrates the work of culinary professionals in Peru, as well as those dedicated to the investigation and promotion of Peruvian cuisine. The Premio Manka is awarded by the Peruvian Ministry of Education.

The awards ceremony was held at the Huaca Huallamarca, a pre-Columbian pyramid in San Isidro, and along with Teresa, the other 2006 recipients in the Masters of the Culinary Arts category were Gastón Acurio, Humberto Sato, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, and Cucho La Rosa. In the Investigators and Promoters category, the recipients were Mariela Balbi, Isabel Alvarez, Bernardo Roca Rey, Raul Vargas, Johan Leuridan, Fernando Cabieses, and Rosario Olivas.

Click here for the Peru Food main page.

TAGS: Peru, Peruvian, food, cooking, cuisine, cocina, comida, gastronomía, peruana

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