Anyone who has been paying close attention to the culinary trends of right now is very much aware that the next “it” cuisine is that of Peru, a cuisine that has been slowly and quietly trying to break into the American palate for at least a decade. A handful of chefs and food writers had heralded the advent of Peruvian cuisine in this country years ago, but it had been premature, and many food enthusiasts were left waiting for a wave of Peruvian restaurants - both haute and humble - that never seemed to arrive. This country wasn’t ready yet. Not only did we lack the food culture that we have today with all its foodie bloggers and gourmet food trucks, it was almost as if gringos had yet to resolve their issues with Latin American cuisine. Although many Latin Americans were already fans of the varied and sophisticated cuisine of Peru, the general American population still thought that Latino cuisines were either confined inside a tortilla or served with a heap of rice, beans, and plantains. Peruvian cuisine did not fit neatly into any of those compartments. With the rise in Latino chefs and the spread of Nuevo Latino cuisine, Americans began to understand that Latin American cuisines could be elegant and sophisticated and complex. We began enjoying spicier, bolder flavors. We started to become huge fans of ceviche to the point that almost every menu now features it. We were also about to be introduced to a chef who was steadily building momentum in Peru and who would introduce the rest of the world to Peruvian cuisine.
If you have any doubts regarding Miami’s importance as a food city, pay a visit during the month of February to understand just how huge the 305 is to the culinary world. For the past eleven years, Miami has played host to Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which is one of the country’s most important gastronomic events of the year. Next year, from February 21st through the 24th, locals and visitors will be able to attend tastings, lectures, demonstrations, special dinners, and unforgettable parties featuring such personalities as Duff Goldman, Ming Tsai, Emeril Lagasse, Todd English, Anthony Bourdain, John Besh, and many others.