"God has spoken," saith the prophet Ferran Adrià. "The future of gastronomy is being cooked up in Peru." The Catalan superchef, of elBulli fame, was referring to Gastón Acurio, who in August opened his first restaurant in New York City (his 32nd worldwide), in the Flatiron space once occupied by Danny Meyer's Tabla. For his part, Meyer has agreed that Peruvian cuisine "will be huge" — and with good reason. Consider that Lima-born Ricardo Zarate (Mo-Chica, Picca) is arguably Los Angeles' hottest young chef and that Adrià himself is working on a documentary about the country's rich culinary traditions: its world-renowned ceviche; its unparalleled variety of chiles and tomatoes; and, most important, its unique blend of immigrant influences. "Peruvian food is a big melting pot," Zarate says. "The Incas put in the first ingredients. Then came the Spanish, the Africans, the French, the Italians. They were followed by the Chinese, the Japanese. That's 500 years of fusion." The best stews take time — and this one is ready to be served.
The Best Places to Try Peruvian Cuisine
Picca, Los Angeles
Zarate's Peruvian-style izakaya reimagines a Japanese tapas bar, with sushi-like causas (pictured left) and meatless anticuchos (grilled cherry tomatoes with burrata).
La Mar Cebicheria, New York City
The menu is as oversize as Acurio's Batali-like personality, but stick with the generous, zippy ceviches (pictured left) and causa tastings and you'll leave happy.
La Costanera, Half Moon Bay, Calif.
This Michelin-starred eatery serves up beachfront views and twists on tradition—think seafood paella and wontons stuffed with avocado and queso Oaxaca.
— Laurence Lowe, Details.com
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