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From Peru to NYC!!!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

How are you doing. It is Gustavo from Peru. I was out of cheftalk for a while but I am back. I got a job for working In Montana for the winter season. I came to NYC for visiting my relatives and decided stay some months like an student.
I worked hard in3 places for the winter season and I can say I love food but would like to work doing something else. A food critic would be a dream,,,,,,and work with food for supermarkets, too. I see a lot of pre-made food here in the USA and its awesome. In Peru we dont eat frozen food, its culturalllll, people think that fresh is always better but here people dont have time for cooking, life is crazy and amazing here, hehe, very fast.
What would you suggest me for being a food critic? As well I am very sure I want to keep studying food sciences. I was good at sciences at school and I like it. What else can I do with my culinary arts degree? I have felt curiosity about what a waiter do,,,,you can talk to people and see how its the work in front and I have always curious about that.
If you want to know about peruvian food, just let me know, I am a lover of it and I have tryed a restaurant in Queens that is not bad. I wnat to see the peruvian restaurants in Manhattan as well. I am in Brooklyn and like checking about food,,,,,,,,. Food network channel is nice , I never get bored, hehe.
I am happy here because I can practice my english eventhough you find people from everywhere here. People think in NYC you will only find americans but we are wrong, its a multicultural community.
Hope to see you soon and let me know places I should visit in NYC. Thanks so much!


post #2 of 5
Hello Gustavo,

I used to live in NYC, in Queens, although it's been many years since I left. When I returned for a visit a few years ago, I was surprised at how "international" parts of Queens had become. Wonderful to see all the people from around the world. Jackson Heights, along Roosevelt Avenue, has a number of latin American restaurants, including some Peruvian places.
I also spent time in Peru, mostly in Pisco, but also a little time in Tacna. Pisco was great - a couple of friends have a small hostel there. We'd go down to the beach in the morning and get fresh fish right off the boats!

There was not enough time for me to learn much about Peruvian cooking, but I did come away with a couple of recipes for chupe, which I love, and papa a la huancaina . Do you have any suggestions for making chupe? Also, feel free to post any other favorite Peruvian recipes or techniques.

Kind regards,

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 



Chupe its a really delicious soup. I will give you the recipe of Shrimps chupe.
You need to brown some choped onions in a pot with oil, some garlic, and some tomatoes concasse, if you can brown 1 spoon of aji panca, that is one kind of peruvian chili, if you dont have it paprika is enough. After add fumet, about 4 cups. Add 1 cup of rice, "zapallo", that is one kind of pumkin, some beans, some fresh corn in pieces, peeled potatoes in pieces, and I tell you if you add a fresh crab , you will gte a nice flavour. just an small one. After that is cooked, add the shrimps,,,,,some cream of milk, "queso fresco" in pieces, and some eggs. And, that's it. Hope I could help you, if you need something else, please let me know.
post #4 of 5
Hi Gus - I too live in NYC, in fact when people ask if I was born here (which I was) my joke and reply is yes, born and bread (purposely mispelled) white and stale...NYC is unlike anywhere in the world in the massive diversity that you find here. You stated later on that people not from here are surprised by the diversity - and it's true. Being from here it's often hard to live somewhere else where that sort of diversity doesn't exist. Not that other places don't have their charms and uniqueness of their own. but one of the very cool things about being from and living in NYC is the exposure to so many different people cultures and hence foods from around the world. and while you can find that in other large cities like SF, LA, Chicago, Boston, I have not seen the massive variety we find here - OK I am sure I will get hit over the head for that one but I will stand behind my statements and beliefs.

There certainly is something to be said for the Peruvian attitutude of NOT eating frozen food and many people here in the US and even NYC are trying to readopt that attitude. Not sure if I personally want to be part of "helping" you to change the attitude in Peru - not all progress is positive LOL. Embrace what is unique and special about your own culture. Of course in some ways change is ineviditable. Not all frozen food is bad but so many skills have been lost in the past 30 -50 years that frozen pre prepared food has become common place and continues to change our values here - some positive changes like not being a slave to the kitchen, but so many negatives too like lack of fresh food, too much processed food and junk food available. Sadly some people like the taste of frozen processed food better because that is all they ever knew and are used to.

In terms of being a food critic, while you are here, why not offer to write a free column for a newspaper in the capital city back home in Peru. You could write about food - both your observations and experiences as a consumer, observer and worker - get a digital camera and attach some photos too to your submissions.

Another thought is to start a blog and write articles about yourself again related to your experiences but centering on food. Check out some other peoples food blogs to get an idea. You could write in both english and spanish - side by side translations would be unique and cool too

Have you ever thought about becoming a caterer. It's quite different from working as a chef in a restaurant or a waiter in a restaurant. The pace and sensibilities are different. You know ahead of time what you need to do and it's hard work but also very satisfying. There are so many different career options.

Other thoughts include becoming a food stylist, a food purveyor - you could even go back to Peru and start an import store - featuring unique foods that you found while here that are not available there easily. You could do the same thing here in the US - Peruvian foods - now I am sure in NYC there are places that already do this (but there is also always room for another business LOL and the customers/market to support it - but do your homework) are there Peruvian communities elsewhere outside of the big cities that would be very happy to have food from home - either a restaurant, a market, a catering business - so when they want to have a celebration, or experience an eveining out - they can take a mini vacation home without the plane ticket - just a few thoughts. I am sure you and others will think of many many more possibilities.
which Peruvan rest. have you tried in Queens and what neigborhoods? I would love to meet with you and do a food safari together. You can send me a PM (private message) thru this board and we can figure out a time and schedule - I can show you lots of interesting diverse food around this borough of Queens alone, not to mention Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and yes, even Staten Island --- and I would love to hear and experience Peruvian and latino food through your eyes. Corona especially seems to have quite a few Peruvian restaurants. I have only been to one once - after a trip to Costa Rica and a great cerviche and Peruvian restaurant in the capital San Jose there (other than food San Jose Costa Rica wasn't that appealing but the markets and food were) I also remember eating blue potaotes for the first time about 20 years ago in a Peruvian restaurant in San Francisco - now of course blue potatoes are so common place here in NEw York
where do you live now in Brookyn, there are many latino restaurants in Sunset Park - they seem mostly to be central american with a large emphasis on Mexican - not the tex mex or americanized mexican you get at placees like Chilis etc but real tacos etc. Near where I live there are fabulous food stands and mobile kitchens selling tacos made from tongue and other innards that are delicious and not readily available in most restaurants here.

Also there are the famous Red Hook Ballpark Food Stands - It's a place where the latino community gathers to play soccer in the summer monthes and a whole food culture has grown up around it. Check out sites like and google red hook food stands - you will be amazed at what you see. Talk to folks there and hear about their experiences.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Welcome to my diverse city - you are adding to the wonderful and exotic and crazy mix that makes NYC such a unique place. Love it or hate it - there is no place else like it.
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
Chef Tigerwoman

Stop Tofu Abuse...Eat Foie Gras...
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your big pieces of advice!!!!! Thye really cheer me up so much. Of course I already snet you a private message. I hope we can meet us. Writting about food in a peruvian newspaper is a good idea.!!!!!


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