Thursday, 1 June 2017

USA: Celebrate Peruvian Gastronomy Day, Why Wait?

Earlier this year, Washinton D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that every first Sunday of June will henceforth be known as the official Peruvian Gastronomy Day. On that day, Peru’s Foreign Trade and Tourism Minister Magali Silva declared that this decision reflects the international recognition of Peruvian cuisine.

El Comercio reports that on June 4, the first annual Peruvian Gastronomy Day in history, the University of the District of Columbia will be putting on an event called “Taste of Peru” where 28 stands will offer a variety of Peruvian plates prepared by real Peruvian chefs that have their own restaurants in the United States.

Attendees can expect to find everything from ceviches and regional foods to national drinks and desserts at this smorgasbord.

We at Living in Peru are ecstatic that this event is set to become an annual happening in Washington D.C. and hope to see it spread throughout the states. Why wait?

Apega’s 2nd International Gastronomic Congress gathers the young and ambitious chefs of Peru’s future. Did it fulfill its mission?

Apega is Peru’s leading gastronomic council. They organize various events (such as Mistura) geared towards promoting Peruvian food and conscious eating.

This year, for the 2nd year in a row, they held their International Gastronomic Congress which has gained a little bit more of an entity since last year, yet dropped slightly in quality.

The Congress is geared towards students, mainly students who go to a school with moderate prestige in or around the city of Lima. About 75% of the attendees were students. Although the discussion topics seemed to be interesting, the way some of the speakers gave their presentations didn’t quite get any message across or pertain any useful information.

This isn’t to say there weren’t interesting speakers. Participants in the panel of nutritionists educated the room about how the greatest nutritional problems in the country span from obesity to extreme malnutrition, the necessary amounts of salts and sugars needed in our diets, and a crash course on the colon.

Other speakers included Bernarndo Roca Rey (President of Apega) & Eduardo Ferreyros (Minister of Exterior Commerce & Tourism); of whom the latter stated that the public and private sectors should work together to position our gastronomy (cuisine) in the world.

The most anticipated speaker at the congress was Malena Martinez, the scientific head of the Mater Initiative, which is the body of scientists who work with the world famous restaurant Central and chef Virgilio Martinez (who is also Malena’s brother.)

She gave a great presentation about what they do at Mater presenting their explorations to places within the country to find distinctive consumable flora and either identify or document them to later find a use for them in our food.

For those of us who already knew what Mater was all about, it was a slight disappointment because, I for one, was hoping to hear more about their discoveries. Also, quite a few students who saw me with a press pass asked me if, “Virgilio” was going to make an appearance, which was something that was implied in the promotion of the event.

All in all, Apega’s 2nd International Gastronomic Congress, met its goal. It educated the new generation of cooks in Lima and gave them exposure to different professionals in the field and different social issues, both ecologically and nutritionally, that they would have to answer as cooks. Was the knowledge all that valuable? Or when it was, was it enough? I’m not so sure of that.

Germany enjoyed Peru’s cuisine at a recent diplomatic event.

The Peruvian Embassy in Germany created an event to boost Peruvian food in the hosting country. According to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Peruvian Gastronomic Week in Germany started on April 28 and it was held at the Inselhotel in Potsdam, capital of Brandenburg.

Political authorities from both countries were delighted by the Peruvian dishes. During the event, there was also an opportunity to introduce the many tourist attractions in Peru.

Peruvian Ambassador Elmer Schialer stressed the importance of Peruvian gastronomy and its export products including Superfoods.

Previously, Germany has hosted food fairs where Peru participated and presented its Superfood products to the world. The latest fair was held in Nuremberg where a Peruvian Committee displayed Peru’s native products at Biofach.

Peruvian superfood travels to Nuremberg

Events like this, strengthen ties between Peru and Germany. It is worth noting that Germany is involved in a conservation project along with the Peruvian Government.