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Aug 28, 2008 09:34 PM

Chicago Chef Going To South America

I am looking for any forward thinking restaurants anywhere in SA to go eat at, or even to work at. I am going to be in SA for 5 months and will be traveling through most countries. Is there anything like Alinea, Tailor, WD-50 etc etc in SA. Any help/advice would be great.

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  1. I'm not sure that I'd put anyone out there on the cutting edge of cuisine down here in South America. There are certainly chefs who are working with molecular cooking techniques - here in Buenos Aires you have La Vineria de Gaulterio Bolivar, Resto, Thymus, Sucre, that all play around with that arena a bit (the first of those is probably the most, since the chef, Alejandro Digilio spent some time working for Ferran Adria), the chefs at Resto and Thymus trained with Michel Bras in southwest France.

    In Lima, and now spreading his empire out a bit, Astrid & Gaston is probably the most cutting edge restaurant there is. Outside of those, "cocina de vanguardia" as we call it, hasn't caught on in too many places.

    1. Actually in Lima, there are several restaurants that are excellent and I would consider cutting edge. Everyone talks about Astrid and Gaston... yes, its very nice, but there is so much more than that. And most certainly,Gaston Acurio has been instrumental in the past few years in putting Peru more prominently on the World Cuisines map. I have great respect for him, and he's been working very hard promoting Peruvian cuisine, and his own culinary empire.
      Depending on the type of Peruvian cuisines you're interested in... very exciting is the Peruvian Japanese restaurants - Hanzo, Toshiros, Matsuei, and Osaka.
      For traditional Peruvian cuisine styles look for Las Brujas de Cachiche, Huaca Pucllana, Fiesta in Miraflores...
      For really nice experience go to one of the Tanta restaurants, and for desserts go to San Antonio or Don Mamino for pastry.
      You should certainly go to one of the cevicherias and seafood specialty restaurants (note that they all close by 4, and no self respecting peruano will eat ceviche after 3 o'clock in the afternoon). I enjoy Sonia's in Chorillos, a little hard to find but worth it, Punta Azul, Punta Sal, and of course Gaston Acurio's La Mar,... all these I know are excellent.
      There is a Feria coming up at the end of the month with a top-notch line-up of chefs that will also be featuring one of the chefs of Spain's Bulli ..

      It would be a great idea, than whether you land in Peru or Argentina or ??? you should find a local to show you a few of the smaller "dives"... some of these offer amazingly good food for little cash, not to mention an opportunity to people watch and soak up atmosphere. But no matter what... the food scene in Peru is amazing... as a chef, you will not regret it.

      Saludos desde Peru

      3 Replies
      1. re: mjhch1

        I absolutely agree there are some amazing restaurants in places like Lima, Buenos Aires, Sao Paolo. I was more responding to specifically the type of restaurant that the original poster asked about, which are molecular cooking style (which isn't a big thing through much of South America - though I was thinking, I believe the chef at the Sao Paolo Park Hyatt has an MC menu). If we expand to simply creative, or fusion, or "cutting edge" (whatever that may mean), we could make lists that went on forever... on the ceviche side, I wouldn't miss Sankuay in Lima, quite possibly the best ceviche you'll ever have.

        1. re: Casa SaltShaker

          There may be some interest starting, as the well know el Bulli chef, Albert Adria is here in Lima this week along with a few other well known international chefs. There's a huge culiary movement here now...I expect to see a great deal of advancement as far as South America is concerned; I find that it is very exciting and a great place for up and coming new chefs to direct their attention to...

          btw... I can't find this place you mention in my listings... Sankuay? Do you know the district? I am always open to try a good ceviche...

          1. re: mjhch1

            It's in La Violeta (I think that's what it's called). It isn't the sort of place likely to be "listed" anywhere - it's a cevicheria in a private home, definitely a chowhound kind of place. Here's a link to my writeup of it: (towards the bottom of the post).

      2. The original comment has been removed