Peru's Ultimate Dining Destination: Astrid & Gastón

Just last year in 2014, Peru was named South America's leading culinary destination, the third time the country's won the honor. Peru is famous for having diverse culinary offerings that are very distinct from region to region. Each region offers locals and travelers alike its own type of cuisine, perfectly catering to the adventurous and hungry traveler who is open to sampling a little bit of everything.

Among those restaurants that continue to bring Peru culinary fame is Astrid & Gastón, a restaurant that earned itself the #4 spot on our list of the 101 Best Restaurants in Latin America & the Caribbean.

With the notable achievement of four consecutive years on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, Astrid & Gastón is a pioneer of Lima's blossoming culinary scene, and a major reason for the international recognition of Peruvian food. Though the restaurant's founder, Gastón Acurio, retired from active management of the place last year, he and his wife, Astrid Gutsche, continue to oversee a fine-dining (and occasionally casual-dining) empire stretching from Madrid to San Francisco to São Paulo (including an impressive seven restaurants in Lima alone and several more in development). The menus at Acurio's Lima original comprise experimental dishes in which traditional items are transformed into new and different offerings. One of the standout dishes is the famous cuy pekinés, in which guinea pig is cooked in the Peking duck style and served with rocoto chiles and a purple corn crêpe. Desserts follow the same creative cooking style, combining local Peruvian fruits with syrups, cakes, and ice cream for creations like lúcuma (a tropical fruit) ice cream served with raspberry compote and crème brûlée foam.