What Gastón Acurio Made For His Friends While At Le Cordon Bleu

Gastón Acurio's culinary heritage is rich in Peruvian culture, and the foods he cooks reflect that. He feels that Peruvian cuisine is beautiful and unique, one that deserves to take center stage. The famous chef told Cónde Nast Traveler, "When we speak about our food, we're speaking about our families."

Gastón Acurio grew up in Peru, and his desire to put his country back on the map for travelers was strong in the 90s (via Cónde Nast Traveler). The country was in a dire economic, social, and political state, building through the 70s, 80s, and 90s. This crisis prevented tourists from visiting the country at that time.

The famous chef left Peru in the 90s and sought culinary training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. During his time learning the art of French cuisine, Acurio spread his love of Peruvian dishes by cooking for his classmates.

Acurio made Peruvian dishes for his classmates

Gastón Acurio told Cónde Nast Traveler, "I wanted to prove to our people that we weren't condemned to imitate others' cultures, others' cuisines — we have a beautiful cuisine that deserves to be celebrated around the world." And so, he shared these flavors with his Le Cordon Bleu comrades.

According to Cónde Nast Traveler, one of the dishes he prepared for the Le Cordon Bleu students was a Peruvian dish called aji de gallina, consisting of shredded chicken smothered in a creamy, yellow chile pepper sauce. Another dish he prepared, lomo saltado, is a steak and veggie stir-fry with a soy sauce base and thick-cut french fries. Last but certainly not least, Acurio made fresh ceviche for his colleagues. The dish consisted of raw white fish, red onion slivers, chilis, and fresh lime juice.

Acurio's culinary talent and love for the cultural dishes of his heritage led him to open "Astrid & Gastón," which later became one of San Pellegrino's "World's 50 Best Restaurants," according to Star Cuisine.