At least once a year there is a new national cuisine that makes it ways into the larger global culinary scene. Some kind of drift in and quickly fizzle out. Others tend to make a larger impact on food culture for the long term. Peruvian cuisine had been kind of a big deal for a while now and it doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Much of that has to do with the work of the guy pictured above: Gastón Acurio, the official Ambassador of Peruvian food.
Pervuian foodies would've have had a freak out at Pescado & Pisco on the Rooftop at the Betsy: the Almighty of Peruvian cuisine was drinking Pisco Sours, chopping away at fresh fish in the flesh, and alluding to his newest venture: which just happens to be located in Miami.
From 5 to 6:30 p.m., Gastón, his crew, and the students of FIU churned out dish after dish of ceviche. More of a tasting than a demonstration, the event exhibited some interesting combinations to what now has become a common dish. The evening began with long lines waiting to sample the traditional fish ceviche and the Asian-inspired tuna nikkei. Lines grew even longer as the chefs rolled out lobster, shrimp and calamari, and scallop with sea urchin ceviche options.
Luckily, the sunset event had a quick moving bar. Bartenders busted out well-balanced Maracuya (passionfruit) Sours and traditonal Pisco Sours. While it would have been difficult to eat your way through the $100 ticket price -- not due to shortage off food, but much of the night could have been spent waiting in line -- there was ample opportunity to attempt to drink away the bar.
The intimate setting made for plenty of Acurio action for Gastón groupies. It's no doubt: the crowd -- including a large number of Peruvians -- seemed intensely happy. Like they were basking in the presence of a national culinary god.
Consider the adoration a preview. It's almost official: Gastón is coming to Miami. While he's being mum on specifics, he admits, "I've found a great location in Miami. Right now we're working out the details."
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Given the response of the attending guests, many of which raved about some of his other spots ranging from Lima to New York, we'll bet that his North Latin America outpost is going to be quite the busy endeavor.