Last May 27 – 29, 2010 Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino and Japanese, Toshiro Konishi visited Tokyo for a series of unique gastronomical experience for Tokyoites. One activity was a seminar held at the Umami Information Center for a group of Japanese chefs about the secrets of Peruvian cuisine.
The chefs talked about typical Peruvian ingredients such as papa seca or dried potatoes, (which I prepare almost weekly as “Carapulcra” here at home in Tokyo), different types of Peruvian chili peppers, and combined with Paiche, which complements with the Japanese concept of umami, the “fifth taste”.
Schiaffino, of Malabar restaurant and Executive Chef for M/V Aqua Expeditions (Amazon River Luxury Cruise), said that this experience in Japan definitely affects the way he looks at food and create new dishes. He would also like to think that the Japanese would try to adapt Peruvian ingredients to their kitchen. On a side note, we are fortunate to have a Peruvian grocery here in Tokyo, Kyodai, where I can get all my authentic ingredients any time.
Toshiro Konishi of Toshiro’s Sushi Bar, said before about a hundred experts and gastronomy professionals, that for him, the flavors, ingredients, the Peruvian food and his own Nikkei cooking experience are results of the fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine.
PERUVIAN FLAVORS IN NOBU
Last May 27 to 29, Toshiro, Schiaffino and world renowned Japanese chef, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, (the famed NOBU, who originally started his cooking career in Peru), prepared a special degustation of nine seasons to a sell-out crowd of eager Japanese patrons.
The dishes prepared included Carapulca (Dried Potato Stew), Concha Maca (Greenshells in Maca), Ceviche, Causa con Chalaca (potato salad), Chupe de Camarones (shrimp chowder), Costillas de Cordero con Quinua (Rack of Lamb with Quinua) y Anticuchos (Skewered marinated beef heart barbecue style).
In addition, Schiaffino offered the best of his bar, which was featured in the ‘top ten’ Food and Wine magazine, and the Japanese were able to try his signature Pisco Sour, aperitif such as Chilcano de Anis, Chicha and Pisco Punch.
EMBASSY HOSTED LUNCH FOR THE GODS
Finally, last Saturday, the Embassy of Peru in Japan hosted the 3 famous chefs to a Peruvian lunch prepared by our very own in-house Chef, Percy Bustamante, who is also featured in the book, “Los Dioses de la Cocina del Peru” (The gods of Peruvian Cuisine) which was launched by Nobu himself in Lima, Peru last February. The coffee table recipe book presents Peru’s top chefs with their signature dish recipes and translated in Japanese, obviously with the Nippon market in mind.
I am lucky to be here in Tokyo and will never have to miss Peruvian food, as they are expertly and authentically prepared by our beloved chef, Percy every so often during functions. (I was blessed with Chef Percy as my principal food buying guide when I first arrived in Tokyo; he brought me to Tokyo’s markets and stores, so I had my first insider knowledge where to buy what).
I was extremely lucky last Saturday to be in the company of the gods of Peruvian Cuisine relishing authentic Peruvian dishes once again. In Tokyo, Japan, Miraflores serves authentic Peruvian cuisine with branches in Shibuya & Daikanyama, while NOBU in Tokyo, co-owned by Robert de Niro, serves Nikkei dishes, Japanese with a touch of Peru in some of its entries such as Tiradito and Anticucho.
(Source: News feed from Peru Mucho Gusto Facebook page).