Peru will once again be the center of South American gastronomy when the country hosts its 5th Annual Mistura Festival. The gastronomic fair will be held from the 7th to the 16th of September in Lima.
Mistura 2012 is a celebration of Peruvian food, art, music and dance spearheaded by Gastón Acurio, the nation's most renown chef, and Apega, the Peruvian Society for Gastronomy. Last year, the food festival hosted Ferrán Adria and featured 160,000 dishes, 500,000 loaves of artisan bread, 8 tons of fruit and 500 litres of pisco over a span of 10 days.
This year Mistura is stronger than ever featuring more than 30 chefs from all over the world including Elena Arzak, who was named the Veuve Clicquot World's Best Female Chef, Quique Dacosta, Maxime Bilet from Modernist Cuisine fame, Eneko Atxa and Peter Gilmore. The festival will highlight the bond between farmers and cooks, featuring over 350 grain producers from all over the country.
But the real stars of Mistura 2012 will be native grains: quinoa, kiwicha and cañihua. The event will have El Gran Mercado, a huge outdoor market with 180 stands were visitors can buy typical Peruvian produce like potatoes, local chilies (called ajíes) and a variety of fruits and vegetables from Peru's coastline and the Amazon.
Chocoholics will be in heaven as more than 30 of the nation's top chocolatiers will be on hand to showcase their products. Cacao producers from the communities of Asháninkas and Shipibas will also participate in the gastronomic fair. Aside from indulging in chocolate, visitors will also be able to sample a great variety of pisco throughout the festival.
Mistura 2012 organizers are comitted to making Peru a greener place so they have ensured all of the disposable plates, utensils and cups used in the festival are biodegradable. For a preview of what's to come, check out this film by Patricia Perez about Mistura 2011.