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The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award 2018

Gastón Acurio

It would be difficult to talk about Peruvian gastronomy without mentioning Gastón Acurio – the chef is practically synonymous with his country’s cuisine and has been largely responsible for its meteoric rise to global consciousness.

Peru’s national dish, ceviche, is now as well-known around the world as the country’s staple ingredient, quinoa, but it wasn’t always the way. Back when Acurio was training to be a chef, he found it hard to secure stages at restaurants outside his home country because they didn’t recognise Peru as a source of quality cooks. Now 50 years old, Acurio is a global reference for his country’s cuisine and has influenced almost all the internationally successful Peruvian chefs, from Virgilio Martínez and Pía León of Central to Mitsuharu Tsumura of Maido.

Acurio’s career as a chef began in 1989 in Madrid, when he abandoned a law degree in favour of cooking school. A few years later, he moved to Paris to continue his training at Le Cordon Bleu, and there he met his future wife, the German-born pastry chef Astrid Gutsche, with whom he would found his flagship restaurant, Astrid y Gastón, in Lima in 1994.

As with many of the great cooks, Acurio’s story really began in France, but after a few years cooking French food in Lima, he dared to experiment with local ingredients, techniques and recipes. This eventually kicked off a new trend for Peruvian gastronomy that would explode onto the global scene a couple of decades later, with Acurio travelling the world to spread the word.

Since opening his eponymous destination with Gutsche, Acurio has founded multiple restaurant brands including La Mar, Tanta, Panchita, Chicha and Madam Tusan, with additional branches of Astrid y Gastón and La Mar outside Peru. His flagship restaurant won the No.1 spot on the inaugural Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013 and has held a place on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list since 2011. Acurio wins the hearts and stomachs of worldwide gastronomes with his unparalleled ceviches, his unique Peking-style guinea pig pancake and desserts inspired by his childhood.

The mark of Acurio’s career could be seen as the success of his extensive restaurant empire, his creation of schools for underprivileged children, his cookbooks and TV shows or his triumph as Peru’s gastronomic ambassador to the world. Whichever way you see it, Acurio has done a great service to millions of food lovers, all of whom would no doubt declare him worthy of The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award.


Astrid y Gastón
Av. Paz Soldan 290
San Isidro 15073
Peru

+51 1 4422777
astridygaston.com


Watch Acurio reflect on his career and winning the Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award:


Read Gastón Acurio's pearls of wisdom from his three decades as a chef.

The chef who brought Peruvian cuisine to the world

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