The best way to delve into a culture is experiencing its cuisine. Food can tell a lot about the region of the people through what is grown and harvested. The dishes explain a lot about the customs of people, such as how food is prepared with the available resources. During my trip to Peru, I had the opportunity to enhance my Peruvian food adventure by taking a cooking class in Lima at Sky Kitchen. You should definitely join the fun if you ever get a chance to go to Lima!
The class was intimate and well set-up with 6 chefs-in-training (including myself), the instructor & professionally trained chef, Yurac, and his assistant.
We started off making my favorite dish of the day: causa. A classic Peruvian mashed potato with avocado and chicken. The presentation of causa is so beautiful and the taste is exquisite and hearty due to the aji Amarillo (a classic Peruvian chili) which brings out a sweetness that is fantastic. I re-created Causa here for your enjoyment and the recipe!
Yurac taught us how to decorate our plates for an elegant presentation. After making each dish, we’d sit around the table eating it, getting to know one another, and enjoying the atmosphere. Sky Kitchen is located in a fabulous penthouse suite with skylights all over so you feel like you’re eating outside, but you’re covered and protected by the glass.
Next, we made another classic Peruvian dish: ceviche (cebiche in Peru). I absolutely LOVE ceviche! It’s super fresh raw fish that’s been marinated in lime juice. The lime juice slightly cooks the fish and then you eat it! It’s a really easy dish to prepare, but you need to buy very fresh fish from the market. I labeled it “same-day-caught” fish where the fishermen catch the fish in the morning and it’s on our plates by noon. I’ve re-created the ceviche recipe for you.
(Sam & Matt: 2 of the classmates)
Our third course was another super classic dish: lomo saltado. (photo is ingredients for dish) We chopped up the veggies, sliced the steak and had turns cooking it on the stove.
(Mehrnaz & Yurac cooking the beef). The class was so interactive and hands-on. We were able to make every dish shine.
We made picarones, which are Peruvian doughnuts. We all took turns cooking the dough in the oil. The class lasted for about 4 ½ hours and was an afternoon well spent. New friends and new food! My Peruvian adventure was complete with a cooking class on my last day in the country.
(Myself & Mehrnaz showing our masterpieces)
When you travel, try to find time to take a cooking class so that you can learn about the culture, the cuisine, and the story of the people you are visiting. For food definitely shapes who we are and the customs we practice. Sending many props to Sky Kitchen!!! Absolutely fabulous!
Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN