With 3 London based restaurants (Ceviche, Andina and Ceviche Old St), a music label featuring Peruvian artists, a Peruvian cookbook (Ceviche: Peruvian Kitchen) and more recently a YouTube channel (Ceviche TV), showcasing Peruvian techniques and recipes, Martin Morales appears to be a man whose energy knows no bounds in championing all things Peruvian.
NBC News caught up with Morales in New York City today, on Peru's Independence Day, to ask the London based Peruvian chef more about his 'deep love of cooking' and his motivation to 'launch a culture'.
Immigrating to London from Peru when he was a just a child Morales, suffered homesickness for his culture and Peruvian cuisine. Witnessing first hand the general ignorance of not only the location of his homeland but also its cooking, Morales, considered it something that was 'broken' and 'in need of fixing'.
Morales was certainly the right man for the job putting his money where his mouth was after selling his home and giving up his original job in the music industry. He opened his first Peruvian restaurant in 2012.
Sourcing unusual Peruvian ingredients hasn't proved so easy but Morales commits to two culinary investigative trips per year to Peru. "I've just come back last week from the Amazon" he tells NBC News, "So I spent 5 days in the Amazon researching ingredients, many of which haven't even been see in Lima, the capital city, let alone outside of Peru. I hope I'll be able to take some of those internationally and include them in some of our recipes" and relishes the chance to top up his 'Pandora's Box' of ingredients.
Morales also points out the huge diversity of Peruvian food, in that there are over 492 national dishes in Peru putting it in The Guiness Book of Records. With over 500 years of fusion and migration of different nationalities bringing their own techniques, flavours and ingredients it is one of the most diverse in the world.
He also, quite rightly, refers to Peru as a 'real powerhouse of superfood ingredients.' He talks about his desire to break the connection of superfoods like quinoa purely with health and instead link them back to recipes with where they come from. 'it's all about having the right ingredients and the right recipes' in order to balance the flavours.
Morales also offer masterclasses and workshops to 'enrich' people's lives with Peruvian food and culture. And when questioned on his 'launching a culture' he eloquently responds, "food is a language that's got no words, but it's governed by your taste buds and visually and your sense of smell. So with those different senses, we can excite people and communicate better than language which is so limiting some times."
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