OpinionAna: What is served in the first restaurant operated...

Ana: What is served in the first restaurant operated only by women in Peru?

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Several years ago, when I was working in a fast food restaurant, I asked my boss why there were no women working in the kitchen. He replied that it was a rather complicated task, which only men could carry out, because – in addition to cooking – they had to carry heavy supplies, equipment and clean huge machines. What would he think if he knew that there was a restaurant operated only by women?

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This is what happens with Ana, the first gastronomic space in which from the valet parking service to the highest echelons of the kitchen are led by women. It is like being in a parallel reality because, nowadays, it is much more common to see great male chefs stand out within this sector; however, now it is the ladies’ turn. Excuse me!

Under the kitchen of change philosophy, Ana – which opened its doors in September – not only intends to make a difference by promoting gender equality in the culinary sector, but also seeks to position the concept of circular economy, which consists of reusing and recycling existing materials and products as many times as possible and thus try to generate the least amount of waste.

Duality

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When you enter Ana, the first thing you notice is her huge bar, lots of greenery and smiles, including that of Alexandra Chía, the head of the room.

“Ana is a homely woman, sophisticated and very sweet by day. At night it is entertaining and unbridled. She has fun and enjoys her femininity. She is empowered and does not need someone to feel free “, says to Provecho de El Comercio before opening the doors to the kitchen or “Ana’s heart”, as she calls it.

Among the flames, the pots, pans and ingredients we observe how a group of approximately ten women unfold in perfect harmony to elaborate the orders that come from the living room, where people are oblivious to the chaos and embarrassment that lives within the heart of Ana. The team is led by Saraí del Águila and Melissa Castro, two experienced cooks who participated in the creation of the brand’s concept, together with the Dasso Group, and of each dish on the menu.

Saraí del Águila and Melissa Castro, Ana's chefs (Photo: Anthony Niño de Guzmán)

“The idea [de crear Ana] emerges in the pandemic. We realized that there were many inequalities with women and much more in gastronomy. We have been preparing the menus since July, based on the experience that each one of us has had. It is a letter that is quite technical, which revalues ​​Peruvian products and the great variety of peppers that we have. Each one has contributed something significant. We work hand in hand with farmers and artisanal fishermen. We try to participate in all the stages the product goes through until it reaches the table “, says Saraí.

Saraí and Melissa print each of their experiences on each of the dishes. Saraí remembers that at home both men and women enjoyed cooking. In addition, he always carries in his mind the flavors of squash and cilantro due to their northern roots.

The kitchen is Ana's heart. (Photo: Anthony Niño de Guzmán)

Some of the dishes that stand out on the menu are Giulia’s ravioli, stuffed with pumpkin loche and confit yellow pepper; Saraí’s pea, accompanied by fish; and Juana’s tacos, stuffed with beef.

Cecilia’s bar

Lines above I was telling you that when you enter Ana the first thing you will see is the huge bar. There is Cecilia, the boss of this area, where signature drinks and cocktails are prepared. The menu of ten cocktails is her creation and she made it in 15 days. Record time.

Cecilia is an experienced bartender, who has led the bars of various restaurants such as Rafael and Barra 55. She feels that women are still not taken into account in the world of mixology, especially in competitions, but she hopes that soon this “ chip ”can be changed.

Cecilia Monzón, Ana's bar boss (Photo: Anthony Niño de Guzmán)

“We girls can work in any type of area. No position has gender. Ana’s message is that gastronomy should be the same for both men and women “she explains while making a Gracie, one of Ana’s clients’ favorite drinks. It’s named after Leslie Gracie, the creator of Gin Hendrick’s.

And although it may seem hard to believe, the recipe for this cocktail includes blueberry lacto, the product of a lactofermentation process. “This process produces a bacterium called lactobacillus which is good for the intestinal flora “.

Gracie also carries Saint Germain (elderflower liqueur), plum liqueur, lime syrup, and lemon syrup. To decorate it, blueberry powder is placed, which they obtain thanks to the circular economy.

Gracie.  (Photo: Anthony Niño de Guzmán)

“We make powders, syrups and cookies from the bagasse of products like blueberries and pineapple. We try to generate as little waste as possible. To do this, we work hand in hand with the kitchen. We try as much as possible not to use plastic. We do not want to generate environmental waste ”, concludes Cecilia.

Decorative cookies made with pineapple and blueberry scraps.  (Photo: Anthony Niño de Guzmán)

When night falls and Ana’s fun side emerges, you can also enjoy cocktails like Maria Landó or Chabuca, accompanied by music from DJs like Shushupe. Do you dare to enjoy this experience?

Where is it located and from what time does it open?

Ana is located on Avenida General Mendiburu 793, Miraflores. And it opens its doors from Tuesday to Sunday from 1:00 pm

You can schedule a reservation through WhatsApp 926 887 168.

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