Gastón Acurio is the most famous Chef and Restaurateur in Peru and maybe also the most famous Peruvian in the world. The son of a senator became hugely successful with his Astrid y Gastón in Lima and it soon became many more restaurants around the Latin American regions and other chains based on the different types of Peruvian cuisine. Gastón Acurio is the best ambassador and marketeer of the Peruvian cuisine around the world. The restaurants in Peru to open outside Lima were the Chicha restaurants that Gastón Acurio owns together with local restaurateurs in Cusco and Arequipa where the restaurants are located today.
Like all Chicha restaurants the one in Arequipa is based on the regional cuisine with several additional plates recognised from Gastón Acurio’s Lima restaurants as well. You will probably never see Gastón Acurio in the kitchen in Arequipa, but the two co-owners, married couple Lucia Gutierrez and Patricio Bedoya, who own 50 percent of the restaurant will be on site. They have made Chicha por Gastón Acurio-Arequipa one of the most popular restaurants in the city that is the second biggest in Peru with almost one million inhabitants.
Chicha is the name of the drink that is widely used in the Latin Americas and that can be with or without alcohol. In Peru people refer to the drink with purple maize and the original word for chicha comes from the Kuna word that means maize. Of course you can have many variations of chicha drinks from the restaurant’s impressive bar, like the Que tal chicha.
The dinner style is quite casual so no suit requirement as with all restaurants in Peru and you will have a massive selection of dishes to choose from, like traditional Arequipa dish escribano with coarsely mashed potatoes, tomato, hot pepper and with oil & vinegar. Another local speciality is the costillar that is tender lamb ribs fried at low heat and served with traditional escribano and an onion parsley salad. There are several others as well, like the delicious stuffed hot pepper filled with hand-chopped beef and pork, peanuts, raisin and finely chopped onions served with the dauphinoise potatoes (layers of sliced potatoes, cheese and milk) that are cooked perfectly in the oven. You can choose plates from a wide selection of cebiches, freshwater shrimps and from the grill as well.
It is fun dining at Chicha por Gastón Acurio-Arequipa most of the time. You can experience some downers due to lack of service and sometimes have dishes that should not enter the dining room, but in general you will have a nice dinner with some great taste peaks as well.
Written by Andy