PERÚ CELEBRATES SIGNIFICANT RECOGNITIONS IN THE WORLD’S 50 BEST CEREMONY

Another year where Peru does not go unnoticed in the culinary world: this time in Las Vegas, amidst the hot desert and the vibrant, unstoppable city, we are again at the top of the World’s 50 Best list.

Written by Catherine Contreras from Las Vegas (IG @caty.contrerasr)

Another year where Peru does not go unnoticed in the culinary world: this time in Las Vegas, amidst the hot desert and the vibrant, unstoppable city, we are again at the top of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. The Maido restaurant (Lima) by Mitsuharu Tsumura, Micha, took the 5th place; Kjolle by Pía León ranked 16th, and Mayta by Jaime Pesaque came in 41st.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024. Maido, which climbed to fifth place, won The Chef’s Choice award and was named the best restaurant in South America. / Photo 50 Best.

Maido is number 5 in 2024, although it has already been number one in the hearts of many Peruvians and culinary experts worldwide. The beloved Mitsuharu Tsumura received the Chef’s Choice award, a recognition granted by his peers worldwide, highlighting those chefs who have made significant contributions to the global culinary scene.

The merit is evident. It is crucial for a chef like Micha, who leads a restaurant that has upheld the Nikkei Peruvian concept for 15 years, to receive recognition at this level: Maido, after being ranked 6th last year, now enters the top 5 of the world’s best restaurants, behind three Spanish restaurants (Disfrutar at 1, Asador Etxebarri at 2, and DiverXo at 4) and one French (Table by Bruno Verjus, at 3). Peruvian cuisine, from one of its most potent cultural branches (Nikkei cuisine), and with it, the Latin American region with all its riches and potential yet to be developed, competes on an equal footing with those that have been leading cuisines for centuries. Today, they look at us with both affection and admiration.

It was a great night for Maido, Micha, and his partners César Choy and Marjorie Flores, all at the ceremony held on Wednesday night at the Encore Theatre in the Wynn Las Vegas hotel complex. The solid team at Maido has created a unique concept that brings the encounter of two ancient cultures, Japan and Peru, into the spotlight. Nikkei is not just in vogue but extends its horizons and branches throughout Peru, especially on this 15th anniversary of Maido. Thus, it has created a significant impact and demonstrated the deliciousness resulting from the mixture, which is what much of our country and Latin America are made of.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024. From the red carpet, the Mater team entered the awards ceremony. / Photo El Trinche.

Last year, it was Central by Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s turn, being chosen as number 1 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. A solid concept, built over years and continued to grow, but the ranking now moves into the Best of the Best group, as the tenth in a list composed of such iconic restaurants as Mirazur by Mauro Colagreco, Celler de Can Roca by the Roca brothers, Osteria Francescana by Massimo Bottura, among others. Central no longer participates in voting this ranking, making way for new projects.

KJOLLE AND MAYTA KEEP GROWING

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024. Peru’s representation at the awards.

Peru has three restaurants on the world list, and in the extended list (51 to 100), restaurants like Mérito and Mil are poised for a breakthrough. Kjolle’s leap from 28th to 16th place has been remarkable. Pía León and her team, leading a relatively young restaurant in terms of establishment (only six years), are showing a more mature gastronomic proposal, which stands out in a revamped space and continues to grow.

Supported by the research and projects that Mater conducts in the field and at the regional level, from a cultural and multidisciplinary perspective, Kjolle’s team strengthens its discourse around the local products of a diverse country, sharing with diners not only their cultural value (indigenous ingredients whose richness is represented not only intrinsically but also by the uses, customs, and traditions surrounding them) but also showcasing their culinary potential and, of course, their flavor. Kjolle’s table remains tasty, warm, and revealing of our surroundings.

Mayta, meanwhile, rises from 47th to 41st place after entering its sixteenth year of operation. The proposal that Jaime Pesaque develops with his team is a vision heavily influenced by the Andes and the Amazon. The chef draws inspiration from Peruvian products, focuses on the southern coast (an approach reinforced during the pandemic), and fully dedicates his vision to Peru. Peruvian ingredients are the protagonists, and the presentation aims to strengthen this idea.

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024. From the red carpet, chef Jaime Pesaque, Francesca de Obregoso, and Santiago Vidal. /Photo: El Trinche.

DISFRUTAR, NUMBER 1

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024. The trio directing Disfrutar in Barcelona receives the recognition. / Photo 50 Best.

Their speech was full of gratitude and emotion, revealed in choked voices. Oriol Castro shared that it was a magical night. Eduard Xatruch, with a choked voice, dedicated this recognition to their teams and “all the people who worked to make this profession something wonderful,” but also “to our families, who have always been by our side, supported us in everything, suffered a lot for us, and we hope this award brings them some joy and that all the time we weren’t home was a bit worth it.”

For ten years, Disfrutar has carried a smile in its proposal (part of their logo), as Mateu Casañas said: “It’s a profession that requires hours, hours, and more hours. But it has a beautiful thing: we can make many people happy.” The three owners of the Catalan Disfrutar, along with their teams and families, celebrate being at the top of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list.

And Peru joins the congratulations: part of the Disfrutar team visited the country this year and was at Kjolle during a revealing night of flavors connecting with their life experiences and Catalan traditions. The connection was in the warmth with which Xatruch and his team view their family kitchens and their local customs, and from there, embrace innovation in novel techniques and flavors that the palate continues to recognize as their own. They also shared some of their cuisine – in techniques and gastronomic reflections – with culinary students from the Faculty of Gastronomy, Hospitality, and Tourism of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. It was an important experience for future generations to know diverse approaches to education to generate their reflections and motivations for their future careers.

LATIN AMERICA AS A WHOLE

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024. Latin Americans won the best female chef and best sommelier awards. / Photos: 50 Best.

Peru wins, and so does the region. Latin American presence stands out in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2024 list. There are three restaurants in the top 10: Peruvian Maido at 5, Mexican Quintonil at 7, and Argentine Don Julio at 10, whose leader, Pablo Rivero, was also recognized as the Best Sommelier in the world. Two Peruvians (Kjolle and Mayta, as mentioned), one Colombian (El Chato, at 25), two Brazilians (A Casa do Porco at 27 and Oteque at 37), Chilean Boragó (29), and Mexicans Pujol (33) and Rosetta (34). In total, 11 Latin American restaurants are on the list, plus Kol by Santiago Lastra, a Mexican in London at 17th place.

As we have said in previous years: first, the effect of this recognition trickles down and will very likely be reflected in regional tourism, notably in the coming months; and second, the so-called high Latin American cuisine is showing itself as a unique and fabulous model that links stories, traditions, ingredients, and reveals uniqueness. There is nothing like it, nor does it require validation from anyone.

We maintain a Latin American presence at just over 20% of the global list, and that is significant. It must be celebrated.

FACTS

The Chef’s Choice recognition that Micha Tsumura won this year has been awarded in previous years to chefs such as the French Julien Royer (2023), the Mexican Jorge Vallejo (2022), the Basque Víctor Arguinzoniz (2021), as well as Alain Passard (2019), Dan Barber (2018), Virgilio Martínez (2017), Joan Roca (2016), and Massimo Bottura (2011), among others.

Etiquetas: the world's 50 best, 50 best, latam, maido, kjolle, central, mayta

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