Last Monday I was invited to the United Nations in Manhattan, for the premiere of Gaston Acurio and Ferran Adria‘s documentary: “Peru Sabe. Cuisine as an agent of social change,” directed by Jesus Maria Santos. If you’re interested enough in food to be reading a food blog, you probably know who Ferran Adria is. If you’re interested enough in Peruvian food to be reading a Peruvian food blog, you also probably know who Gaston Acurio is.
But in case you don’t, I will tell you briefly. Ferran Adria is none other than the world’s most famous chef, owner of El Bulli, which has been awarded 3 Michelin stars, and named best restaurant in the world a record of 5 times. He has been named one of the 100 most influencial people in the world by Time Magazine. Gaston Acurio, on the other hand, may not be the world’s most famous chef, but he is unquestionably Peru’s most famous chef and personality. He has 31 restaurants in 12 countries, and was proclaimed “the most famous chef you’ve never heard of” in early 2011. By now, the last part of that phrase is not so true anymore.
As a Peruvian, a food blogger, and simply as a food lover, I was extremely excited to attend the premiere of their film, which is an effort to make Peruvian food better known to the world, not only for how wonderful, varied, and yet unexplored it is, but also for the powerful social revolution it has lead in the past few years in our country. As Acurio explained very well during the Q&A round, we grew up in a country one was taught didn’t have much value, but this has recently started changing in a dramatic way, and guess what is behind it? None other than food, the most basic of our daily needs, and of our traditions.
The idea of the film is not only to praise Peru, but to set an example for other countries with dormant resources that could be utilized to improve an unlimited number of lives, and change people’s attitude completely.
“As a social phenomenon, Peruvian cuisine is unique in the world, but could be an example for other countries,” said Ferran Adria. “While traveling through different regions of Peru to make this film, I discovered the country’s incredible biodiversity and the innovative potential of its cuisine. This is helping to create a new social reality.”
The cocktail party was beautifully set in a river view tent, and there were several cebiche bars were I stood all night, making sure I didn’t miss the next round of exquisite fresh fish and seafood coming my way. It was a wonderful, heart-warming evening.
You can watch the trailer of the movie above, or go to their website to learn more about this great project. It will also be broadcasted by Univision Networks in the US, and by Radio Television Espanola in Europe. So stay tuned!
Photo of Gaston Acurio, Ferran Adria, and Jesus Maria Santos, by M. Rajmil.