The other day I was re-reading My Mexico for its re-publication by Texas University Press and it brought back so many memories of my journeys and the people who had shared their recipes with me. This is so important.
Gastón Acurio has won the world over to the wonders of Peruvian cuisine by opening a string of top-notch restaurants. Last year it was New York City’s turn, with La Mar Cebicheria Peruana. At the helm as Executive Chef: Victoriano Lopez, a man whose name nearly spells victory. He overcame tremendous odds in his own career and now stands ready to take on one of the most discerning cities for new restaurants on the planet!
Of course there is a Latin American cuisine. Imagine an orchestra called Latin America—we all have something to contribute to the great symphony with the best we have. Our diversity, our cuisines, our preparations, our traditions are unparalleled.
Sometimes one of us makes the first stage of a work and the other finishes it, and other times we create something entirely together from start to finish. Our manner of communication influences which method(s) we use, depending on if we’re working in the studio together or if we’re collaborating over skype, email, phone or post.
Julian Medina is the owner of four successful restaurants in the Big Apple: Toloache, Yerba Buena, Yerba Buena Perry and Coppelia. A Mexican talent brought over for his gifts in the kitchen, and an accomplished businessman, Julian Medina, a husband and a father—who is also in love with Latin American food—tells us his secret recipe for success.
Emmanuel Piqueras is the executive chef at Panca Restaurant. He’s a master in combining Peruvian flavors with European technique, Emmanuel is one of the pioneers of Novo Andean food. Having worked in one of the world’s best restaurants, “Arzac” in San Sebastian, Spain, Emmanuel then proceeded to open a slew of Peruvian influenced restaurants on the West Coast of the U.S.
I don’t really have a favorite food, it’s all a matter of timing. On my last birthday, Cecilia took me to the Mexican restaurant, Hecho en Dumbo, where we had queso fundido de chorizo, mole manchamanteles, and, for desert, pastel de chocolate with a touch of tequila. That entire experience remains permanently etched in my record of remarkable delights.