14, 7:00 P.M.
Members $85, guests $110
When Lima native
Pedro Miguel Schiaffino announced to his parents at the age of 12
that he had decided to become a chef, they skeptically suggested
he first give it a try as an apprentice. So Schiaffino got a job
at a butcher shop, then a sushi bar, then a French restaurant, and
finally in a hotel kitchen. He amassed six years of kitchen experience,
and by then he'd made his point: his passion was legit.
In 1996, leaving
his home far behind, he enrolled at the CIA for formal schooling.
Fast forward a few yearsto graduationand Schiaffino
again was off on a new adventure. With a scholarship for a master's
program at the Italian Culinary Institute in hand, he departed for
Italy. There, he spent kitchen time at the Michelin three-star Ristorante
dal Pescatore under the renowned Nadia Santini, and at Piero Bertinotti's
celebrated Ristorante Pinocchio.
When this young
globe-trotter finally returned to Peru, he took charge of the kitchen
at La Huaca Pucllana, named for an archaeological site that was
the sixth-century ceremonial and administrative center of the ancient
Peruvian people. At La Huaca, he is fusing the foreign techniques
he mastered in the United States and Europe with local recipes and
ingredientschiles, yucas, yams, fish, quinoa, Andean caviar,
and exotic seasonings like cedrón, toronjil, muña,
sachatomate, and aguaymanto. He is crafting, Raúl Fer of
América Economía wrote, "unforgettable"
is, after all, one of the original fusion cuisines. Over the centuries,
the native kitchen has been subject to a host of outside influences
from Africans, Japanese, Spaniards, and other Europeans who conquered,
immigrated into, or were forcibly transported to Peru. Schiaffino
confidently updates the food of his homeland. He is a masterful
cook, and he is a lucky one, too; he has at his disposal an incredible
wealth of produce and seafood from all over Peru. His food is, literally,
fit for a king (and queen). Last fall, this "young promise
of Peruvian gastronomy," as Alejandra Arispe characterized
Schiaffino in Expreso, cooked for King Juan Carlos and Queen
Sofia of Spain, who were visiting Peru. According to all accounts,
they were intrigued and delighted by his cooking.
We think you
will be, too.