Marilú Madueño is sweet and charming. She’s also an incredibly talented chef who is totally commited to Peruvian food, taking it to the next level of perfection. Huaca Pucllana Restaurant, where she has been the executive chef for the past decade, is one of the most original restaurants you will come across. And this is not only for the wonderful food you can try here, but also for its unlikely yet fascinating location: an archeological site called Huaca Pucllana, which dates back over 1500 years, and was built by the pre-Incan Lima culture. This place is where the restaurant gets its name from.
With studies in Le Cordon Bleu, in Paris, Marilu started her professional life very young. This made her shy at the beginning, but soon she found this to be a very exciting world and has never looked back. She knew the kitchen was going to be her life.
Amazonian paiche filet with mashed yucca, and a cocona and aji charapita chimichurri is the most popular dish at Huaca Pucllana. Paiche is a fish that can weight up to 500 pounds, and lives in the Amazon river. It has white flesh, and can be eaten fresh, or dried and salted. Cocona is known as the Amazonian tomato; it is an orange fruit, somewhat acidic, and makes a delicious salsa combined with aji charapita, probably the tiniest but hottest chili pepper of Peru.
Another popular dish is Cuy chicharrón (fried guinea pig) over patacones and salsa criolla with lemongrass. The seabass with red quinoa crust, over artichokes and asparagus sauté with balsamic reduction, is another favorite because it´s light, delicious, and healthy.
If you are looking for something sturdier, the Saltado de camarones (shrimp stir-fry) with Runtus potatoe tacu tacu is a must. Tacu tacu, traditionally made with beans, lentils or Lima beans, can be transformed into a new dish when replacing the pulses with potatoes, mushrooms or any other ingredient.
We love this chef’s refreshing take on traditional Peruvian dishes and ingredients. And there’s nothing better than eating amazing food in front of breathtaking views, is there? If you are or will be in Lima soon, don’t forget to visit Marilu’s little food haven. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.