Fashion Food at “Astrid y Gastón” – LIMA, PERU

Diego Muñoz (left) Gastón Acurio (right) Chefs at Astrid y Gastón LIMA, PERU

Gaston Acurio may be Peru’s most famous chef – indeed, one of its best-known celebrities of any sort – but neither he nor his restaurant is resting on their laurels. Earlier this year Astrid y Gastón, Acurio’s 20-year-old Miraflores flagship, relocated to a new location nearby as part of the prolific chef-restaurateur’s latest and most ambitious project to date: Casa Moreyra.

A historic hacienda in the San Isidro district of Lima, Casa Moreyra has been transformed into multi-faceted gastro-centre incorporating a casual bar-restaurant, event space, botanic garden, research and development facility and more. But it is the fine-dining restaurant, Astrid y Gastón (named after the chef and his German-born wife), that remains at the heart of proceedings.

Here the 46-year-old and his influential head chef Diego Muñoz oversee tasting menus of immense scope and ambition. The current version, Viru, takes diners on a lengthy, informative and delicious journey through the five different landscapes of Peru: The Pacific Ocean, The Desert, The Andes, The Altiplano (High Plain) and The Amazon. Individual dishes range from the apparently straightforward such as mackerel escabèche to more unusual combinations such as trout, custard apple and duck, with everything from antichuchos (cow’s heart) to quinoa sprouts in between. Acurio’s personality and originality are evident in the clever plating, the relaxed service style and the upbeat atmosphere throughout.

With a restaurant empire that stretches Bogotá to Madrid, from Buenos Aires to San Francisco and New York, Acurio is something of an international ambassador for Peruvian gastronomy. But the reinvention of his already hugely successful signature eatery demonstrates that he has no intention of neglecting diners in – or visitors to – the city of his birth.

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