Learning to Cook in Lima!

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As you all know by now – ever since I met C, and he introduced me to the wonder that is Peruvian cuisine, I have been completely and utterly hooked. What came as a surprise to me when I first visited Peru in 2011 (read about my adventures HERE!) was not only how diverse the country is in terms of its population but also how this diversity is represented in their food, especially in and around Lima! Peruvian cuisine has fully embraced, adopted and modified the flavours from the Andes, the Spaniards, the Chinese, the Japanese, as well as Africa and the Middle East.

With such a rich culinary history, it is not surprising that food is a big deal in Lima, and the Limeñeans take it seriously! In fact, three of the World’s 50 Best Restaurant are located in the capital; Central at 4th place, Astrid y Gaston at 14th and Maido bringing up the rear at 44th….hmm just noticed they all have the number four in common – what a coincidence!

So if you find yourself in Lima, whether for work or pleasure, I highly suggest to not only sample your way through all their glorious food (Take a look at THIS great article from Serious Eats about food you should try while in Peru), but also to learn how to cook and prepare it as well!

A great place you can do this is at Skykitchen in Miraflores. Skykitchen is a half-day cooking class that not only offers hands on experience in preparing authentic Peruvian dishes, but also the opportunity to sit down with the chef and other participants and savour all your delicious creations afterwards! I really couldn’t think of a better way of spending a few hours in Lima.

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C looking excited to try his creation :)

After having done a bit of research on cooking classes in the city, what attracted me to Skykitchen was their varied menu. They not only offered the typical dishes that I expected to see such as ceviche, lomo saltado and aji de gallina (which are essential for any first time visitors), but also more unique options which I feel catered to those of us who want to delve deeper into Peruvian cuisine.

C and I opted for the Andean Food with Quinoa option which consisted of an exciting four course menu, featuring dishes such as Ocopa (a mild cheese-herb sauce served over Andean potatoes), Chupe (a flavourful fish & prawn soup), Rocoto Rellano (stuffed Peruvian hot pepper with Alpaca meat) and a Lucama mousse (mousse made from the Lucama fruit) to end the evening on a sweet note.

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Ocopa
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Rocoto Relleno
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Mousse de Lucuma

The class is conducted by Peruvian native, Chef Yurac, and his German business partner Christian on a beautiful rooftop terrace overlooking Miraflores. Apart from the kitchen being an open-air kitchen (which is not very common) all the equipment you use are standard kitchen appliances, so you know you are able to recreate your dishes when you are back home.

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Chef Yurac hard at work
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A sample of Peruvian potatoes

The class is hands on and structured, yet the atmosphere is relaxed and laid back, which is a wonderful combination when learning to prepare food (must be thanks to that Peruvian/German mix!!) On the day we attended, there were only three of us in the lesson so it was nice and intimate, and we able to ask lots of questions about the food, produce and techniques used in Peruvian cooking.

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Chef Yurac and Christian were immensely knowledgeable and passionate about what they do and it was an absolute pleasure to spend our time with them. The next time I am in Lima, I already know that I will be signing up for another class with Skykitchen – and I highly recommend you do to :)

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