Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lunch at Astrid y Gaston

 Liz and I had lunch today at Astrid y Gaston, one of Peru's top restaurants and the heart of chef Gaston Acurio's restaurant enterprises, which includes La Mar Cebicheria, Panchita, and others.

Astrid y Gaston, which Acurio started with his wife, Astrid Gutche, is rated number 14 on the prestigious San Pellegrino List of the World's 50 Best Restaurants.  Based on the stupendous 3.5 hour, 18-course tasting menu, with wine pairing, that we enjoyed today, the restaurant has surely earned that spot.

The meal was presented in eighteen courses set over five stages.  The meal started out with "Nature", represented with a collection of "leaves" and "sticks" in a basket resembling a bird's nest, with "eggs" consisting of a glucose shell, with whites made of granadilla and yolks of passion fruit.  It proceeded through "Man" with the appearance in the menu of cultivated crops such as potatoes and corn, and on to "The Encounter" which focused on seafood courses; then "Haven", and which the contributions of various immigrants were added - Japanese dashi stock, Peking duck-style guinea pig in a chicha morada wrap, and the Afro-Peruvian flavours of carapulca and chupe- and finishing with "Today", marked by the dessert courses, including a camu camu-flavored beso de moza and a lucuma ice cream popsicle brough tableside in an ice box like the vendors carry on the beaches here.

As the meal progressed through each stage, the material of the plating grew more complex and modern: starting with the bird's nest, proceeding through stone, carved stone, ceramic, paper, and metal. There were many techniques of "molecular cuisine" present, including a two little balls of gelled broad bean, frozen cebiche, etc.

To say that it was an amazing meal, simply sells the experience short.


Anonymous said...

Wow, this looks amazing. I've been checking out Michelin rated restaurants in the Bay Area to visit when we're home in August, but the prices are going to make us wait until our 5th anniversary to really splurge. Astrid and Gastón is at the top of our list for when we visit Peru next. Are you also going to the #49 restaurant on the San Pelligrino list that is based in Lima. Can't remember the name off the top of my head. Hope so, would love to hear your review. xoxo-sarita

Juancho said...

Central? No, not this time.