Peru needs to start using conscious thinking when it comes to
the sourcing of these prime raw ingredients,” he says.
Heavily involved in promoting the use of aquaculture in
Peru and lowering the carbon footprint in his own restaurant,
Duarte is committed to serving only sustainable seafood,
fueling his vehicles with cooking oil and serving wines from
biodynamically grown grapes. Given his location in a part of
Boston where restaurants largely appeal to tourists visiting the
Italian enclave of the city, he sets himself apart by serving a
cuisine that draws heavily on the Italian repertoire, but with a
strong Peruvian influence.
“At our restaurant, which began as yet another place serving
only Italian food, one of my most popular dishes is gnocchi
made with yuca, served with a slow-braised green lamb ragu
and shaved Parmesan, a true marriage of techniques and
ingredients, a well-melded taste of Italy and Peru on the plate.
In fact, perhaps 90% of the dishes on my menu combine Italian
techniques with Peruvian ingredients.”
Sweets reflect a Spanish influence with egg-based custards and flans
and boiled sweetened milk playing a major part. The remainder
of the sweet side of the menu uses local tropical fruits—lucuma,
cherimoya, passion fruit—as points of inspiration for mousses,
creams and meringues. One example of Spanish influence is suspiro
a la limena, a layered airy confection of dulce de leche cream topped
with port-flavored meringue.
With a cuisine so vibrant, colorful and diverse as Peruvian, it’s
easy to see why the American dining scene is embracing the old
and the new, the native and the foreign, which come together
seamlessly in every plate of Peruvian food.
ROBERT WEMISCHNER ( W W W.ROBER T WEMISCHNER.COM) TEACHES PROFESSIONAL
BAKING AT LOS ANGELES TRADE-TECHNICAL COLLEGE AND IS THE AUTHOR OF FOUR
BOOKS, MOS T RECENTLY, THE DESSERTARCHITECT (CENGAGE LEARNING, 2010).
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