DAY 1: WELCOME TO LIMA’S ENCHANTING CULTURE AND DIVERSE FOOD SCENE
Wednesday, July 19
Welcome to Lima, a historic and gastronomic wonderland! Every year, millions of people spend one or two days in Lima on their way to Machu Picchu. But many people are starting to recognize that there’s more than a day’s worth of history and culture to experience in the second largest city in South America—a city of ten million people.
Lima is one of the most diverse geographies in the world, and the food in Lima is sourced from Peru’s coast, jungles, mountains and high desert. There are fruits that North Americans have never seen, giant fish from the Amazon, ceviche to die for, and 4,000 varieties of potatoes. This amazing diversity has resulted in arguably the best food scene in South America.
Nine of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants are in Lima. On this trip, we will go to four of them, starting with Maido, the second-ranked restaurant in Latin America and #13th in the world.
After checking in at the four-star Casa Andina Private Collection in the trendy and upscale neighborhood of Miraflores, we will head to Maido to experience world class Nikkei cuisine. Peru is a melting pot, and so is its cuisine. Nikkei is the melding of Japanese and Peruvian food, taking the best of each cuisine to spectacular effect. Chef Mitsuharu Tsumura grew up in Peru and spent time in Japan learning his craft. If combining South American ingredients with Japanese techniques sounds unusual, rest assured it will be one of the highlights of your gastronomic life.
Meals included: Dinner (including some drinks)
DAY 2: FRUIT MARKET, CEVICHE, PRE-INCAN RUINS AND FINE DINING AT CENTRAL
Thursday, July 20
We’ll start the day with a traditional Peruvian breakfast sandwich and cocoa and coffee, followed by a grand gourmet tour of Lima. We’ll go to a local co-op selling only Peruvian-made ingredients and crafts. The space contains many different small shops all working together to provide a unique dining and shopping experience. We will move on to the romantic neighborhood of Barranco--home to many artists and musicians, and a meeting place for much of the city on warm nights. Then we’ll journey to one of Chef Gastón Acurio’s world-renowned restaurants to learn how to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche (raw fish cured with salt and lime juice) and pisco sour (the national drink of Peru). We’ll finish the tour at the Pre-Incan ruins of Huaca Pucllana, where there is a cooperative restaurant serving high-end but classic Peruvian dishes and desserts, with a portion of the proceeds supporting the maintenance and preservation of the ancient ruins.
After our exhaustive gastronomic tour of the Miraflores and Barranco neighborhoods of Lima, you’ll have the afternoon to rest and relax, or continue to investigate the city. We will provide you with a number of attractions to visit in the city, including museums, shops selling traditional Peruvian crafts and traditional and modern art. Due to our central location in one of the most affluent neighborhoods, there are many activities within a very short distance of the hotel, many even walkable.
Dinner at Central is sure to be one of the highlights of the tour. Virgilio Martinez’s restaurant is ranked #1 on the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list and #4 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Central’s laser sharp focus is on Peruvian products. Chef Martinez and his team travel all over Peru to discover new ingredients to utilize in the restaurant, supporting local farmers and foragers. At Central, you’ll enjoy one of the most beautiful and delicious meals in the world, and the food is guaranteed to be unlike anything you have ever had.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Including some drinks)
DAY 3: MAGDALENA MARKET, PERUVIAN SANDWICHES AND PRIVATE DINING WITH CHEF SCHIAFFINO
Friday, July 21
The best way to learn about the food culture in any new location is to visit the market—not the high-end markets where wealthy inhabitants and gourmet chefs shop (these are great, too), but the markets where regular people shop every day. While at the Mercado Municipal de Magdalena, we will see the amazing variety of fruits and vegetables that Peru is known for. We will also sample common street foods, like chicha morada, mazamorra morada, arroz con leche, anticuchos, and empanadas.
After building up an appetite walking the market and surrounding area, we will have lunch at the classic and absolutely delectable sandwich shop called La Lucha Sangucheria. The sandwiches may seem simple and straightforward, but Peruvian cuisine uses citrus juice to make everything mind-blowingly delicious. La Lucha was also voted the best place in Lima for French fries, and we’ll taste these crispy fries made with classic purple- and white-swirled Peruvian potatoes.
Dinner will be an incredible treat. Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino is one of the chefs discovering little-known Peruvian ingredients and bringing them to the forefront of a new cuisine. As in many countries, the first high-end chefs and restaurants in Peru cooked French food. However, a few key restaurants in Lima, many of which we will visit, are increasingly focusing on Peruvian cuisine. Chef Schiaffino travels all over Peru to unearth new ingredients to highlight. He runs some of Lima’s most successful restaurants and is a wealth of information. He will personally cook our dinner at Malabar, chat with us, and conduct a private cooking demo just for us. Chef Schiaffino is known for his gregarious and friendly nature, and his private demos are known to go late into the night.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (including some drinks)
DAY 4: OLIVE GROVES, PANORAMIC VIEWS AND THE BUTCHER’S TABLE
Saturday, July 22
We’ll start the day with a panoramic and historical tour of Lima. Our private guide will walk us through the historic center of Lima, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main square is surrounded by grand colonial buildings built by the Spanish in the 1500s after Francisco Pizzarro claimed it as the seat of Spanish rule in the region. The Cathedral of Lima is an imposing structure that holds the remains of many prominent Catholic functionaries and Pizzarro himself.
We will then move on to an incredible park in the San Isidro neighborhood. In 1959, the city of Lima turned a 400-year-old olive grove into a national monument, and the Olive Grove Park was born.
Next we’ll visit the art galleries and beaches of Barranco, and get a panoramic view of Miraflores. Along the way, we will sample street food, Peruvian chocolate and coffee, and have lunch at a traditional Peruvian restaurant.
Our evening will be spent at a unique kitchen table dinner at Osso Carniceria, the #27-ranked restaurant on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. Chef Renzo Garibaldi trained as a butcher at world-renowned sustainable butchers in San Francisco, New York and France. He returned to his native Peru to set up his own sustainable butcher shop and restaurant. At Osso, Chef Garibaldi will cook and serve us at a giant Butcher’s Table located right in the kitchen. We will eat right off the table without plates or cutlery. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and a memorable final dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (including some drinks)
DAY 5: WORLD HERITAGE SITE AND CLASSIC CEVICHE LUNCH
Sunday, July 23
Our last morning in Peru will be spent outside of Lima at Pachacamac, an archeological site that was first settled in A.D. 200. and was actively inhabited until the Spanish invaded in the 1500s. It became an archeological site in the 1890s, when numerous grave sites, cemeteries, buildings, temples and pyramids were uncovered.
After our tour of Pachacamac, we will head back to Lima for a classic ceviche lunch. In Peru, fish is caught in the morning and then prepared right away. No Peruvian would eat ceviche after lunchtime because it would not be considered fresh. Ceviche is Peru’s most iconic dish, and it is fitting that we end our trip on this high note.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch