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 (www.mistura.pe) 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. They are often priced beyond the average traveller’s budget, but a meal at one of these could be the 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 (see www.festisabores.com), 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.