For the third year in a row, the Maido restaurant in Lima, Peru, owned and operated by chef Mitsuharu Tsumura has claimed the top spot on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
The chef, excited and humbled by yet another number one position on the list, said that he will now take the time to focus on producing more fast-casual concepts that can feed millions, not just a few.
"I think you can do great things with a lower price. Small concepts with your signature flavors and more people being able to taste it...It’s time to democratise delicious."
The chef said he will open three new concepts, a tavern serving Nikkei-style tapas, a Nikkei sandwich concept, and a roast chicken concept. "Many people don't know, we talk about ceviche and lomo saltado but what Peruvians eat the most is pollo a la brasa, it's one of the most popular foods in Peru."
Last year, we wrote about how Peru has continued to dominate Latin America’s list. This trend continued with 11 Peruvian restaurants making the final cut. Virgilio Martinez's Central restaurant was in second place so the top two spots on the list both went to restaurants in Lima.
Gaston Acurio, the chef who most people acknowledge as the man responsible for kick-starting Peruvian Gastronomy both at home and internationally, said that there will be a lot more to come from the country. "Seeing this generation, and the generations that you don't even know yet because they are working hard, the ones who want to be the new Mitsuharu or the new Virgilio... they are much better than us. We learned a lot working, we didn't learn about sustainability or responsibility at school, we learned in our journey working every day. This new generation already have these principles inside, what they can do in the future has to be much better than what we did."
For Micha, the most exciting thing has been seeing how Peruvian food has gone full circle with true acceptance in kitchens around the world.“Many chefs from abroad have started to use Peruvian inspiration and ingredients, now finding a ceviche in a restaurant in Europe is not unusual. There is a need for Peruvian ingredients... Showing Peru to the world is not only opening Peruvian restaurants, showing Peru to the world is also giving chefs and restaurants beautiful products to be used in any way they want."