Astrid & Gastón may not be a household name in the United States but this restaurant is the crowing jewel of Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio's restaurant empire. Based in Lima, the restaurant dishes out exciting Peruvian haute cuisine that has garned Acurio worldwide acclaim.
Now, for the restaurant's winter menu (keep in mind Peru is situated in the Southern Hemisphere) Acurio is tackling Italian cuisine. For this endeavor, the chef recruited an ambitious team of two dozen professionals in a variety of fields including visual artists, fashion designers, historians and Italy's culinary giant Massimo Bottura.
Together they created a new menu called El Viaje, which translates to The Journey. Themed From Liguria to Callao, 100 Years of Flavor, the menu is a homage to the Italian immigrants who landed on Peruvian shores over a century ago.
El Viaje is divided in five acts and takes diners from the port in Genoa to the port at Callao. Each course depicts a different stage of an Italian immigrant's life, from saying goodbye to family and embarking on a long journey to finally becoming successful in a new land.
Diners are treated to a unique gastronomic experience as each course features not just different food but alternate tablescapes, lighting, clothing and music. It's an intriguing experience made even better by the fascinating blend of Peruvian and Italian flavors found in dishes like mandarin, negroni and passion fruit (pictured above).
The result is almost theatrical and highlights Acurio's storytelling abilities. The video below is a preview of what El Viaje is about. Please note the video is in Spanish but it is easy to follow along as it is mostly an ensemble of music and beautiful images.
For more information on El Viaje and to reserve your spot, visit the restaurant's website.