10 September 2013 by Alex Stewart
Lima's Astrid & Gaston restaurant, owned by chefs Gastón Acurio and his wife Astrid Gutsche, was named the Cusqueña Best Restaurant in Latin America by UK-based William Reed Business Media.
Judges felt that the restaurants 'character, native dishes and brilliant execution combine to create an all-conquering phenomenon.' The star dish on the menu of Peruvian classics-meets-haute-cuisine was the Noble robado fish, served in miso sauce with crunchy oysters.
The award comes as timely recognition of the work of Acurio, who has been Peru's best-known celebrity chef for more than a decade, with a fine-dining empire that now stretches from Bogota to Madrid, from Buenos Aires to San Francisco. However, this Lima flagship, opened in 1984 and slated to move to new premises in 2014, remains his signature restaurant.
The awards ceremony also served to highlight the renaissance in Peruvian cuisine in general and Lima's restaurant scene in particular. Besides Astrid & Gastón, Virgilio Martinez's Central Restaurant (ranked 4th) and Pedro Schiaffino's Malabar (7th) were also in the Top 10, whilst Maido (11th), Rafael (13th), Fiesta (14th) and La Mar (15th), another Gastón Acurio restaurant, followed.
Other standout gourmet cities included São Paulo in Brazil, where D.O.M (ranked 2nd) and Mani (ranked 5th) can be found, and Mexico City in Mexico, which boasts Pujol (ranked 3rd) and Biko (ranked 6th). Other Top 10 entries included Boragó in Santiago, Chile (8th), Tegui in Buenos Aires, Argentina (9th) and Roberta Sudbrack in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (10th).