If there were ever a time to visit Peru, this is the year, as the country's cuisine has made a name for itself on the international food scene. Since the economy has stabilized in cities like Lima, locals have begun to eat out for a change, and chefs have responded. With a Le Cordon Bleu campus and Master Chef Peru show, fine dining is there to stay -- and it's spread stateside too. Peruvian cuisine showed up in most 2014 trend reports, and Chef Victor Albisu is leading the way at Del Campo in Washington, D.C.
In January, he traveled back to Peru with CARE, a humanitarian organization fighting poverty, along with his friends Chef Mike Isabella of G, Graffiato and Kapnos, and Chef Spike Mendelsohn of Bernaise, Good Stuff Eatery and We, The Pizza. The group experienced everything from cooking guinea pig to plowing a potato farm in rural Ayacucho, before tasting the culinary renaissance in metropolitan Lima.
The chefs were impressed by the use of potato and quinoa farming to combat hunger and malnutrition, and inspired by the native flavors and techniques in Lima's top kitchens. Each has created a dish at home with the ingredients they found most memorable from the trip and their own personal touches, now available in their D.C. restaurants:
- Mike Isabella's bay scallops with red pepper, bacon, garlic and bread crumbs is available at G.
- Spike Mendelsohn's crispy pigs' feet is available at Bernaise.
- Victor Albisu's tuna ceviche with uni, sweet potato, jalapeño and "lion's milk" is available at Del Campo.
PHOTOS: D.C.'s celebrity chefs visit Peru with CARE