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Gaston Acurio Steps Down From 'Astrid & Gaston'

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Gaston Acurio Steps Down From 'Astrid & Gaston'
Photo Gaston Acurio/Facebook

After 20 years at the helm of one of Peru's most successful restaurants, renown chef Gastón Acurio is saying goodbye to Astrid & Gastón, the restaurant he co-founded with his wife Astrid Gutsche.

The chef broke the news of his retirement in an emotional Facebook message where he thanked patrons, partners and Peru as a nation. Acurio is the country's most beloved chef and has propelled his homeland's cuisine to international stardom.

Acurio is passing on the torch to head chef Diego Muñoz (pictured below), who has worked at Astrid & Gastón for the past two years. His wife Astrid will remain connected to Astrid & Gastón, according to his Facebook message.

"It's a necessary retirement that will give way to a new generation that can dedicate their body and soul to steering [the restaurant]. On a personal level, this will allow me to dedicate myself to the challenges and responsibilities my future commitments will require," the chef wrote in Spanish.

Acurio said he plans to dedicate himself to the Peru expedition of 2015, in which he will travel the country discovering products, people and stories. He is also developing a website that will help small producers connect with consumers.

Earlier this year, Astrid & Gaston was moved from its original location into a historical hacienda called Casa Moreyra. The restaurant is currently number one on the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list, which is sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.

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