Wednesday, April 25, 2007

María Jesús de Gamero: The Secret Is In My Hands

For readers of this blog and other cognoscenti of Peruvian food, it is no secret that Peruvian is one of the world's great fusion cuisines, and that the contributions of Afro Peruvians to Peruvian cooking has had a great influence on the development of the traditional coastal cuisine known as cocina criolla.

María Jesús de Gamero is considered by many to be one of the finest chefs in Peru, but what makes her unique is that she is also known as la cocinera de las estrellas or the chef to the stars, catering and cooking for show business, political, and other leading Peruvian personalities. She is renowned for her expertise with traditional coastal Peruvian main dishes and desserts.

In an interview which appeared at Radio Programas del Perú (RPP) back in December, she was quoted as saying, "My buffets are requested by entertainment figures, politicians, and other prominent Peruvian figures. Thank God, I never lack work."

María Jesús, who has been cooking professionally for the last 30 years, is a frequent guest chef on Peruvian television and also travels abroad promoting Peruvian cuisine.

Among her specialties is lechón al horno, the delicious roast suckling pig she prepares for the New Year's Eve meal (traditionally, Peruvians welcome the new year with a large family meal eaten around midnight). She is also highly sought after for Peruvian-style roast turkey, which is eaten for Christmas Eve dinner. "During the holidays, my phone doesn't stop ringing," she says.

María Jesús credits her mother and grandmother, expert cooks in their own right, for teaching her the secrets of Peruvian cooking. "The secret to my cuisine is in my hands," she states, "and has been handed down to me from my family in Cañete where I was born." Cañete, south of Lima, is one of the cradles of Afro Peruvian culture.

Source and Photo: RPP

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


Alvaro Horta Calzada said...

Suena todo tan apetitoso, que ya quisiera conocer a María Jesús y probar sus manjares!!!


::Alejandro:: said...

gracias por el comentario alvaro,