Gastronomic Peru


In recent years Lima has become known as the ’gastronomic capital of South America’, thanks to a revolution in Peruvian cuisine. The city’s culinary prestige is reflected in the fact that the Mistura festival in September 2014 attracted over 300,000 visitors. At the heart of much of today’s Peruvian gastronomy are traditional ingredients, from the coast, the Andes and the jungle. The star chefs all recognize the debt they owe to the cooks of the different regions. Their skill is in combining the local heritage with the flavours and techniques that they have learnt elsewhere, without overwhelming what 
is truly Peruvian.


There are several restaurants in the city that are championed as having achieved the height of culinary excellence, and are an ideal way to celebrate a special occasion. Most serve à la carte and a tasting menu. Beyond Lima there are also many excellent innovative restaurants in Arequipa, Cuzco, Ayacucho and elsewhere. Don’t forget that the regional cooking that provided inspiration for Peru’s growing 
international fame is still very much alive and well, often in much more modest surroundings than the fine dining settings of the capital.

Gastón Acurio is usually credited with being the forerunner of the evolution of Peruvian cuisine. He is also recognized for his community work. In 2014 Acurio and his wife, Astrid, moved their flagship restaurant, Astrid y Gastón Casa Moreyra, from Miraflores to a historic building in San Isidro. You can win a copy of his book, Peru: The Cookbook by entering here.


One of the most important elements of the Arequipeño identity is its food. Very tasty and often spicy, Arequipa’s dishes are a major component of internationally acclaimed Peruvian cuisine. Some of the better known dishes include:

adobo spicy pork stew served with pan de tres puntas, a local bread, and hot rocoto peppers.

chancho al palo pork roasted on a spit.

chupe de camarón freshwater shrimp chowder

cuy chactado crispy guinea pig with a corn breading, fried under stones and served with potatoes, habas (broad beans) and a hot rocoto sauce.

queso helado frozen milk with cinnamon.

rocoto relleno hot pepper stuffed with beef, vegetables, black olives and raisins, topped with cheese and served with pastel de papa, a potato pie, also topped with cheese and anis.

soltero a mixed vegetable and cheese salad.

Chicha, a fermented purple corn drink

These traditional dishes or comida criolla are served with chicha, a fermented corn drink, which in Arequipa, unlike other areas, is often made with purple corn. Picanterías are the restaurants specializing in traditional food and many good choices are found in and around the city. Local sweets include: marzipan, alfajores arequipeños (a crispy pastry filled with molasses) and fine chocolates. The culinary delights of Arequipa go well beyond the picantería, with a fine selection of restaurants offering a fusion of Peruvian and international food.


Since 2007, the Asociación Gastronómica de Arequipa, AGAR, has hosted FestiSabores, an annual gastronomic festival held for four days around the last weekend in October; the first of its kind in Peru. It is a great place to sample much of what Arequipa has to offer: traditional as well as fusion cuisine, regional sweets, wine and pisco, an organic food market, exhibits, music and folklore. 

¡Buen provecho!

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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