Flavio Solórzano, Creolle Music, and Ocopa – Have a Happy Día de la Canción Criolla!

Potatoes with cheese, chilies and black mint sauce, serenaded by Caetano Veloso
October the 31st. Halloween! For us, it’s an even more important celebration: it’s the day of Creolle Music. El dia de la cancion criolla. Tonight we drink pisco sours until the sun comes out again, and listen to all the beautiful, poetic music that takes us back to our childhoods and puts goosebumps on our skin. What better way of celebrating than with a typical dish by Creolle food chef extraordinaire, Flavio Solórzano? Executive Chef of the restaurant El Señorío de Sulco in Lima, and specialized in Peruvian cooking, Flavio is not only an expert in regional cuisines, but also in desserts and artisan ice creams, using native ingredients from all over the country. As many other chefs and cooks here, he learned all the secrets of this cuisine at a very early age, from his grandmother, Julia, and his mother, the well-known Isabel Alvarez, whose work in the research field is remarkable.

Flavio‘s greatest assets are his passion, respect, and love for our gastronomy and our ingredients, which he transmits in everything that he does. His books Perú a la mesa!! (Peru on the table) and Cocina Tradicional Peruana (Traditional Peruvian Cooking) were bestsellers, and now he is working in a third book about empanadas, a product that he knows very well because he used to sell many varieties of these delicious turnovers (all of them his creation).

Here is his recipe for this traditional dish that has black mint, or huacatay, as its main ingredient. ocopa is very similar to a papa a la huancaína, but with added peanuts and huacatay, which completely change the flavor. In some places they still make the sauce with a stone mortar. Imagine all the extra work of turning those ingredients into a sauce just by the power of the stone and your own force! It’s well worth the effort though; connoisseurs believe this technique actually improves the taste and texture. We trust them, but we like to be practical too, so here you go with a simpler blender-friendly preparation. Happy Halloween and Feliz Día de la Canción Criolla!

Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • **Sauce:
  • 4 oz Mirasol chili pepper (or 3 tablespoons of Mirasol chili pepper paste)
  • 2 tablespoons Ají Amarillo (or 2 tablespoons Ají Amarillo paste)
  • 6 oz onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 oz peanut, toasted
  • 2 oz nuts, toasted
  • Huacatay leaves (black mint/optional), or 1 teaspoon huacatay paste
  • 6 soda crackers
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup queso fresco (white cheese, diced)
  • Salt
  • **To serve:
  • 1 lb Peruvian yellow potatoes, boiled and peeled, and sliced (or any potatoes, if you can't find yellow)
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 10 black olives
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, in quarters or slices
  • ½ cup queso fresco (white cheese) finely diced
  • Salt
  1. **To make the sauce:
  2. Roast the onion and garlic in a clean saucepan. Reserve.
  3. Boil the ají Mirasol, changing the water three times. Peel and discard the seeds.
  4. In a blender process chili peppers, garlic, onion, peanuts, nuts, milks, queso fresco, soda crackers, huacatay leaves or paste. Season with salt.
  5. **To serve:
  6. In a dish put lettuce leaves, potato slices, cover with the sauce, and decorate with hard-boiled eggs, white cheese, black olives.


  1. I want to take a bite out of my screen. The photos look amazing and delicious!

  2. Que delicia!!


  3. All the photos made mw hungry…. I can’t wait for dinner…. I’m off to my kitchen!

  4. El Dia de la Cancion Criolla? How great! I had no idea a day like that existed. Have to say I much rather celebrate October 31st with Pisco Sours and a great meal!

  5. Que lindo! La flor de la Canela…a mi me fascina Fina Estampa. Que bello Perú.

  6. oh, i love your spin on celebrating halloween, something i don’t do. music, food, classics, etc…!!! i’d love to be your guest tonight! how fun. the chef sounds quite exquisite–taking your food to a whole other level! love it.

  7. Beautiful, beautiful…I am so buying the empanada book!

    And, a foodie friend told me she believes Peruvian food is the next hot food category. I Totally Believe Her!

  8. Soy peruana de nacumeinto y bien serrana, naci en Cajamarca, la ciudad del cielo, y me encanta cocinar y probar y estube viendo Peru delights y y quiero a mi misma darme este regalo de npoder comprar el libro de Peru delight y los del Chef, Flavio Solorzano: Peru a la mesa” y el de ” Cocina Tradicional Peruana, he visto algunas de las fotos que han puesto estan hermosas, Pero donde puedo adquirirlos, me contacto con ustedes? en Peru Delights? mandeme un e-mail avisandome si? gracias. espero tener prontas noticias de ustedes.

    • Nancy, gracias por contactarnos. Peru Delights todavía no publica su libro, pero estamos en preparativos. En cuanto a los libros de Flavio Solórzano, te enviaremos un email con la información que nos solicitas. Me alegra que te hayan gustado las fotos que publicamos. Las de este post han sido cortesía del Restaurant Señorío de Sulco, de propiedad de Flavio. Estamos en contacto.


  1. […] flavor to soups and stews such as capchi (a stew made with potatoes, cheese, milk, and herbs), or ocopa, among many others. Some people also deep-fry the whole chili until golden, and serve it over beans […]

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