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Honour for Acurio

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Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio awarded Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award 2018

Celebrated chef Gastón Acurio of Astrid y Gastón in Lima, Peru, has been awarded the Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award 2018. This honour is part of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.

Acknowledging the award, Acurio says: “This award doesn’t only represent the work of a chef committed for over 20 years to spreading the culture of Peru in the world. It also recognises a whole movement of Peruvian chefs and producers who work together to make the world fall in love with the best of our country’s land, people and history. And it also honours a community of chefs that today, all over the world, work in unison carrying the message of gastronomy as a weapon of peace and well-being.”

A worldwide audience

Acurio studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where he met German pastry chef Astrid Gutsche ­ now his wife. In 1994, Acurio and Gutsche returned to Acurio’s home country of Peru, where they founded their restaurant, Astrid y Gastón, in the Miraflores district of Lima. Initially Acurio’s cooking reflected his French training, but he began to create gourmet Peruvian food, promoting his nation’s cuisine to a worldwide audience. Typical dishes include a trio of ceviche with flavours from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, guinea pig with corn, and purple potatoes stuffed with Arabian-Andean scented lamb.

In 2013 Astrid y Gastón was voted number in the inaugural Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list. A year later, on the 20th anniversary of its opening, the restaurant relocated to the San Isidro district. Today, Acurio leads a young team of talented chefs, bringing new ideas, creativity and exceptional food to visiting diners from around the world. He returned to cook at the restaurant in 2016 after leaving it in the hands of head chef Diego Muñoz for four years while he fulfilled a role as an international ambassador for Peruvian food. Acurio has opened multiple Peruvian restaurants around the world bringing the flavours of his home country to Latin America, Europe and the US.

In addition to being the driving force behind the promotion of Peruvian cuisine, Acurio also launched a successful career on television and frequently appears on La Aventura Culinaria, a show featuring Acurio’s visits to various locations around Peru in search of restaurants and different types of national dishes. His cookbooks attract rave reviews globally and Acurio is kept busy speaking at leading food events worldwide.

Applauding creativity

As the 2018 recipient of the Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award, Acurio joins an elite group of international chefs. Former winners include the UK’s Heston Blumenthal; France’s Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse, Alain Passard and Joel Robuchon, as well as Alice Waters, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller from the US.

Sheryl Yasger, vice president of Diners Club International, said: “We are proud to celebrate Chef Acurio as the 2018 recipient of the Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award and applaud his creativity and commitment to the global gastronomic community.”

Acurio will officially receive his award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 ceremony, which is held at the Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao, Spain, on 19 June.

Jacquetta Picton