The World’s Leading Culinary Destination 2012: a surprise winner


When you talk about the best gastronomic countries in the world, you probably think of Italy, France, Japan or perhaps China. So you would be surprised to find out that at this year’s prestigious World Travel Awards the winner for the World’s Leading Culinary Destination of 2012 was actually Peru.

Beating off strong competition from nominees China, Thailand, Japan, Mexico, Malaysia, USA, Italy and France, Peru triumphed to win this notable award.

The event which was held in New Delhi on 12th December 2012, was created to recognize excellence across all sectors of the world travel industry. Inaugurated in 1993, this year’s event received over 800,000 individual votes cast by industry professionals and travellers in more than 170 countries.

Liz Chuecas, Special Projects Director at PromPeru (the Peruvian tourist board) commented at the ceremony “The culinary legacy and diversity from the coastal regions through the Andes and into the Jungle, is what sets Peru apart from the rest of the world”.

Over the last 10 years Peruvian cuisine has slowly increased in fame and popularity. Due largely to the unrelenting dedication of Peru’s famous celebrity chef Gastón Acurio, Peruvian cuisine is forging its mark on the international culinary scene.

In Peru’s capital Lima, Gastón, along with many other talented young chefs are using their skills to combine local and international ingredients, to create flavoursome, new and inspiring dishes. The most notable chefs include: Pedro Miguel Schiaffino the owner of the chic Malabar Restaurant in San Isidro, Virgilio Martinez a 34 year old Lima born chef and owner of Restaurante Central and Gastón Acurio, who has built an international restaurant empire from the success of his first Miraflores restaurant Astrid & Gastón.

In a recent article by “Condé Nast Traveler” magazine dedicated to luxury travel, Peru’s culinary scene was noted as being “an emerging power” and “benchmark for foodies and gourmets around the world”.

Paul Jones is Managing Director of Totally Latin America.

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