Category: Gastronomy

A Taste of Lima

Each one of us has a grandmother or mother, grandfather or father whose dish—humble or elaborate—transports us back in time or space, surrounds us with people, places, images, languages, and even fragrances of the past. The dish—or the memory of the dish—evokes a smile, or perhaps a tear, and generally seems inimitable by those who share the memory.

Fusion and Identity

I grew up far from Lima in Talara in the Piura region, a northern Peruvian city with stunning beaches that just happens to be the westernmost city in all of mainland Peru. The city enjoys an abundance of fish and shellfish, as well as large oil reserves. The International Petroleum Company (IPCo) settled in Talara in the 1950s, and my father (of Swiss-Peruvian descent) worked for this oil company as a geologist.

Dismantling the Boom of Peruvian Cuisine

I really enjoy Peruvian food, as much as I like doing research related to it. The fact that in my country cooking crossed from being simply itself to becoming a political and social phenomenon entices me intellectually. Indeed, there is a lot to say about the reasons that drove…

The Food of the Gods

English + Español
At the beginning of the 1990s, I traveled frequently to Osaka. Researchers from the National Ethnographic Museum of Japan were studying the Peruvian highlands, particularly Ayacucho, a state with a long and fraught history…

Gastón Acurio: A Recipe for Success

In the fall of 2012, my good Peruvian friend, Germán Echecopar, a professor at Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez in Chile, approached me to consider developing a teaching case on Gastón Acurio, the well-known Peruvian chef and restaurateur. As executive director of the Harvard Business School Latin America Research Center (LARC), based in Buenos Aires, I helped HBS faculty with their field research in the region.

Culinary Fusion and Colonialism

Gastón Acurio, perhaps the best-known public figure in Peru, informs his viewers in Patricia Perez’ documentary, Mistura: The Power of Food (2011) that his mission is to “create the most beautiful restaurants in the world’s most beautiful cities.” Acurio studied culinary arts in…


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