Miami – Gastón Acurio, the chef and entrepreneur who has put Peruvian cuisine on the map globally, presented here Wednesday his newest restaurant, set to open in February at Miami's Mandarin Oriental hotel.
La Mar by Gastón Acurio will offer an extensive menu that is faithful to authentic Peruvian cuisine, albeit with contemporary elements.
Acurio, whose empire includes some 30 restaurants worldwide, told Efe he and his team arrived in Miami to find the hardest work had already been done by the "anonymous and striving Peruvians" who opened eateries in the Magic City over the last 10 years.
Miamians have embraced the flavors of Peru to such an extent that the number of Peruvian restaurants in the city has grown from "two or three a decade ago" to some 200 now, the winner of the Global Gastronomy Award 2013 said.
He summed up his philosophy as "carrying forward Peruvian recipes and flavors with the same conviction with which we acquire the best fish and farm products to create authentic culinary culture."
The world, Acurio said, is "living an historic moment of great food with astonishing products," but it is vital to remember that behind every chef, there is always a fisherman, a harvester of fruit and vegetables or a family farmer.
La Mar by Gaston Acurio is coming to Miami to "share, not to compete" with other Peruvian restaurants, he said.
Taking charge of the kitchen at the new establishment will be Diego Oka, formerly of Acurio's La Mar Cebicheria Peruana in San Francisco.
La Mar, with a marvelous view of Biscayne Bay, will make a point of keeping prices affordable, featuring entries that can be shared in an informal and welcoming environment, Oka told Efe.
Acurio's flagship eatery in Lima, Astrid & Gaston, leads British magazine Restaurant's list of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America.