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Chicha by Gastón Acurio: this is how you eat it in the most popular restaurant in Arequipa

In Arequipa, an unavoidable stop is chef Gastón Acurio’s restaurant, Chicha, located on Santa Catalina Street.

Upon arriving in Chicha, we are greeted by Patricio Vedoi, restaurant manager, who tells us a little about the history and plans of Gastón Acurio’s business. “Our goal is always to offer a modernized version of traditional Arequipa food.”

When we settle at a table, the sound of instrumental music as well as the warm decoration transports us to a quiet space within the city. Quickly, some corn-based breads catch our attention, and the freshly baked smell and flavor make a good first impression.

But these breads are not what make Chicha one of the most recommended places in the ‘white city’, Vedoi tells us that Chicha’s secret is “maintaining the traditional with the best ingredients.” So with that phrase we continue our adventure.

The seasons of Chicha

At the station called ‘Traditional Arequipeña Cuisine’ in Chicha, we can taste the classic vegetable torrejitas with ocopa, the traditional stuffed rocoto or the inevitable, powerful and well-served Arequipeño adobo.

Vedoi says that for the restaurant it is important to respect the traditional things of the city, therefore, within the menu it seeks to recognize and promote the value of Arequipa’s proud gastronomic wisdom.

Following this, we find ‘De la costa Arequipeña’, where we find dishes such as crispy seafood empanadas, sea urchin ceviche, olive or grilled octopus.

Each of these dishes, as Vedoi tells us, is characterized by having fresh products from the coast of Peru. Without a doubt, our favorite was the grilled octopus, 100% recommended.

We move on to the season that is only available from April to December, and that is the part of “Arequipa shrimp” It depends a lot on the closed season reported by the Ministry of Production.

In this part of the menu, they highlight the cause of shrimp stuffed with avocado, bathed in cocktail sauce with coral and rocoto. As well as the sticky rice with shrimp and the shrimp cauche with a creamy cheese stew, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and rocoto.

In Chicha, there is also a world of fusion or creations from the same restaurant. In this we can find different dishes such as corn pancakes with a trout ceviche on top and the best-selling alpaca carpaccio. This, according to Vedoi, occurs mostly during the peak tourist season, and its consumption is even greater than the classic lomo saltado.

There is also the baked suckling pig with Arequipa papaya compote, sautéed corn and bunting potatoes. This typical dish is made in a wood-fired oven, pre-baked very slowly so that it is juicy.

In the sweet world, the classic frozen cheese stands out, the picarones and our favorite the stuffed rocotito made with French toast, cream cheese mousse, Arequipa papaya sorbet and aguaymanto.

With the stuffed rocotito we try to ensure that the already well-known dish can become a dessert. It is prepared with a garden rocoto, which you wash up to 15 times and from there you caramelize it, you fill it with cream cheese, we compare the potato cake with French toast, so that it looks like a hot stuffed rocoto but it is a dessert” says Vedoi.

This bite as well as Chicha at Wonderland, Vedoi considers to be the most delicious and instagrammable desserts in the place.

To close our tour, we couldn’t stop trying the bar, the Siete Esquinas, a macerated lemon verbena, emollient and passion fruit, and the Characato, a drink made with whiskey, rosemary, passion fruit, huacatay and soda, being the most recommended. by the bartender. Although we cannot deny that within the menu, the Chachani, made despite pisco, tumbo, passion fruit and kion foam, stole our hearts.

Source: Elcomercio

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