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The Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio has been awarded The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award ahead of the first ever Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants List which will be announced in Lima, Peru, on September 4th.
The nomination for Acurio was made by 250 industry experts from across Latin America who picked the chef for his 'fundamental contribution' to the food industry in Peru and it's national identity across Latin America.
This story has only just begun...Gaston Acurio.
A true ambassador of Peruvian culture and cuisine, Acurio has dedicated his work to promoting the rich flavors and heritage of his country - something that in the past few years has paid dividends with a number of his students, such as Virgilio Martinez, now taking Peruvian cuisine and teams of Peruvian chefs across to London to open new restaurants.
His Astrid y Gaston restaurant, which opened in Lima in 1994, placed 14th on The World's 50 Best Restaurants List in 2013 and his fine dinning Peruvian web now spreads from the heart of his hometown to Madrid, New York and beyond - the chef's Acurio Group spans a massive 33 restaurants in no less than 12 different countries - all part of his bigger plans to push Peruvian cuisine to new audiences in new parts of the world. To give Peru a strong culinary identity and to help increase economic and social growth through a whole range of social food initiatives, including culinary schools, work with Ferran Adria and the U.N. and a range of projects that link the many farmers and producers of Peru with the increasing number of Peruvian restaurants around the world.
In true humble style, accepting the award, Acurio deflected the praise away from himself, instead opting to use the accolade as a way to represent the many others involved with the development of Peruvian cuisine, he said: "This award represents many people. It represents the people who initiated the way forward and those who over the centuries built what is now our culinary tradition. It represents people across the land, across the sea, in restaurants and in their homes that bring to life our culture every day with pride, creativity and commitment. It also represents those who are prepared for and dream about a tomorrow with conscience and awareness of the opportunities and responsibilities that this moment demands."
Looking ahead to the future Acurio added: "The Peruvian and Latin American voices, noble, peaceful and sweet sound again worldwide. The challenges ahead are enormous but this story has only just begun."
The chef will be presented his award on September 4th during the announcement of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants List and stay tuned as on the 15th we'll have news on the winner of Latin America's Best Female Chef. There is also a documentary called Finding Gaston which focuses on the chef's work and is set to premiere in November, watch the trailer below.