Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gastón Acurio: the most famous chef in Perú

by the Colca Specialist

Gastón Acurio Jaramillo (born October 30, 1967) is a Peruvian chef and ambassador of Peruvian cuisine. He is owner of international restaurants and author of several books. In Peru he's the host of his own television program and contributes to several magazines.


Gastón Acurio Jaramillo was born the only son of Gastón Acurio Velarde, a career politician with Acción Popular party and Senator in the 1980s, and Jesúsa Jaramillo Razuri. He has 4 older sisters.

He studied law (expecting to succeed his father in a political career) at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru in Lima and then transfer to the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain. After dropping his law studies in Spain, he studied cooking at the hotel trade school Sol de Madrid in Spain and the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where he met his future wife Astrid Gutsche, originally from Germany.

In 1994, he returned to Peru with new knowledge of international cuisine and applied it in a Gourmet level to Peruvian cuisine, contributing to the development of the so-called Cocina Novoandina. Acurio is currently recognized as one of the most important chefs in the world.
He has two daughters with his wife Astrid: Ivalú and Kiara.

Peruvian restaurant franchises

Gastón Acurio is a true culinary visionary who has put all his effort into rediscovering Peruvian cuisine and offering typical Peruvian meals in a modern and attractive way. He has turned his vision into reality by creating various successful restaurant franchises that focus on a specific category of Peruvian cuisine.

Together with his wife Astrid, he manages since 1994 the restaurant franchise Astrid & Gastón which opened originally in the district of Miraflores in Lima. This franchise has expanded over the years in Latin America and recently in Europe, opening restaurants in Santiago de Chile, Bogotá, Quito, Caracas, Panamá and Madrid.

Café del Museo lies in the art-historical Larco Museum in Lima. The Café was arranged by the architect Jordi Puig.
The confectionery and pralinerie T'anta was opened in 2003. T'anta comes from Quechua and it means bread.

La Mar is a Cevichería in Lima specializing in Peruvian seafood. This restaurant also opened in Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Panama and San Francisco. La Mar will be opening in New York City and is being designed by the firm Stephanie Goto.

One of most commercially successful franchises is Pasquale Hnos., opened in late 2006 in Lima. It's a fast food restaurant which specialty are Peruvian sandwiches, traditionally known as sanguchess. Panchita, a Peruvian anticuchería opened in Summer 2009 in Miraflores, Lima. Also, the following franchises will be launched in the near future:

Madam Tusan, a chifa (Chinese-Peruvian fusion cuisine). Tusan (土生) is a term for a Chinese emigrant used in China and in Peruvian Spanish it was adapted to mean Chinese person.
Astrid y Gastón Café, a casual version of Astrid y Gastón which will open in Cuzco and Trujillo.
La Pepa, a juice store which will focus on the customer's comfort and experience.

La Pollada & Company, a Peruvian pollería in fast-food format which will attempt to promote worldwide the Peruvian pollo a la brasa (roasted chicken).

Other franchises to be launched by Gastón Acurio are:

La Corralada, a Peruvian premium polleria.
Los Bachiche, a Peruvian-Italian restaurant.
Nativa, a boutique hotel chain which will focus on Peruvian culture and will be based on Acurio's franchises.

Papas & Salsas, a Peruvian papas rellenas(potatoes with fillings) restaurant.
Barrio, a Peruvian criolla cuisine restaurant.
Cegal, a gastronomic university in Lima.

In development:

Pecano, a Peruvian dulceria and deluxe café, based on the Havanna concept.
Yoshi, a nikkei (Peruvian-Japanese) restaurant.
Yoshi & Ricci, an Italian-Japanese restaurant.
Pochita, a Peruvian fast-food anticucheria, based on Panchita.
Chilca, a Peruvian ice-cream store.
Malandro Bar, a concept bar.
Diverxo, a supermarket based on the Wong concept, with the addition of a gastronomy school, own products, and a food court designed by chefs.

Side projects

In parallel with the Peruvian franchises, Gastón Acurio is involved in numerous projects which include:

A cooking television program, La Aventura Culinaria, which is broadcast on cable television by PlusTV. It features Gastón Acurio visiting various places in Lima and other regions of Peru in search of restaurants and specific types of meal or ingredients.

Two episodes include La Aventura del Ceviche, in which Gastón visited his top list of Cevicherias, and La Aventura del Queso, when Gastón enjoyed the best cheese based meals in various locations in Lima.

Top cuisine events worldwide, in which he promotes Peruvian cuisine to a wider audience, task which he accomplished at Madrid Fusion 2006, where he finally internationalized the Peruvian ceviche.

Cooking books, with a nice collection released recently by Peruvian newspaper El Comercio.

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