Once again, Peru is a leading contender for several prestigious World Travel Awards. This year, the country has been nominated for 10 awards in the Destination category in the South American region. The country has taken first place as South America’s Leading Culinary Destination for the last three consecutive years. It also won the World’s Leading Culinary Destination Award for the same three years. In 2014, Peru won first place for several other South American Destination categories including City Break Destination, Cultural Destination and Heritage Destination.
Now in its 22nd year, the World Travel Awards celebrate excellence in all aspects of the tourism industry. Awards are at the country, regional and world levels. Winners of a category in the regional level become candidates for awards in that category at the world level. Votes are cast by tourism and travel industry professionals and high-end consumers.
Receiving awards for culinary excellence is not new to Peruvian cuisine. Three Peruvian restaurants, all from Lima, were included in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2015, taking fourth, 14th and 44th places. The same restaurants were awarded first, second and seventh places respectively in the list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants.
What makes Peruvian food so special? The fresh ingredients from the varied ecosystems of the country, innovative use of traditional ingredients and combinations of complex flavors have brought Peruvian cuisine to the world’s attention. The diversity of the food reflects the historical roots of Peruvian culture, a mélange of Asian, African, European, Middle Eastern and American traditions.
The three Peruvian restaurants included in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants reflect these roots. Maido Restaurant presents Nikkei cuisine, a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavors. The Peruvian restaurant Central uses native ingredients as they were used by Andean peoples before the arrival of the Spanish. The cuisine reflects the entire ecosystem: foods from the desert, the sea, the rivers, the valleys and the highest peaks of the Andes. Astrid y Gastón takes guests on a sentimental tour of the country, evoking memories of growing up in this diverse land by savoring traditional foods with modern interpretations.
Diners need not go to Lima to experience award-winning Peruvian food. For those living in or visiting the San Francisco Bay Area, award-winning Peruvian cuisine is a short distance away. Michelin star-rated La Costanera Restaurant, just 21 miles south of San Francisco, highlights the great diversity of Peruvian cuisine. Join native Peruvian chef Carlos Altamirano for happy hour or an evening of gastronomic delight.