While chatting with Zarate about his upcoming New York dinners at City Grit, Zarate spilled about his new restaurant concept by the beach in Marina del Rey, Calif.
"It's a seafood concept," he said over the phone. "In Peru, if you go to Lima you will not leave without going to a cevicheria. This will be my way of presenting the Peruvian cevicheria in America."
The restaurant, currently named "Paiche," is slated to open at the beginning of 2013, if all goes well, he says. "Paiche is an ancient Peruvian fish from the Amazon river," Zarate said. "The fish almost disappeared but it was found and then the indigenous people in Peru started farming the fish and now it’s so successful."
Unfortunately for non-Angelenos, Zarate won't be opening a restaurant outside of Los Angeles anytime soon. "Obviously I’m a big dreamer. I want to introduce my cuisine, and I would like to open in the major cities," Zarate said. "I love Chicago, and San Francisco, and London, but you need to be conscious not to do it too fast and be solid. It took me 20 years to get where I am. I’m taking it step by step."
New Yorkers, in the meantime, will be getting a taste of Zarate's Japanese-influenced Peruvian food (similar to that served at Picca) this weekend at his $85-a-plate, seven-course dinner at City Grit. One of the courses, Zarate said, includes paiche.