The Art of Hospitality Award - Latin America 2017

Astrid y Gastón, Lima, Peru

The ultimate gastronomic experience overseen by Peru’s culinary king and queen

There’s a reason why Gastón Acurio is hailed across Latin America and even around the world as one of the best restaurateurs in the business. Not only does he bring show-stopping Peruvian plates but he also delivers the complete package, from the décor to the service to the finer details. Together with his wife and pastry chef Astrid Gutsche and a super-talented front-of-house team, Acurio creates a dining experience at his flagship, Astrid y Gastón, that is a joy from start to finish.

On arrival at the beautiful, colonial Casa Moreyra, diners are welcomed via a bright reception area clad with colourful paintings, Peruvian artefacts and Acurio’s cookbooks. Home to Astrid y Gastón since 2014, Casa Moreyra was built in the latter half of the 17th century and housed the first Count of San Isidro as well as being the scene of the battle of La Palma. Its rich history is preserved in a maze of different-sized rooms and spaces, each with its own unique character and charm.

There are shaded outdoor areas for al fresco eating, cosy lounges for intimate meals, a bright dining room with a roof of herbs and leaves and a view of the glass-panelled kitchen and multiple bar spaces for its award-winning cocktails. Everything here is the result of careful consideration, from the tree-adorned outdoor entrance to the restaurant’s stylish, high-tech bathrooms, with walls that double up as doors and a vanity chest, mirror and seat from the original house.

In each of these spaces, assiduously attentive staff are on hand to welcome, greet and meet every need – whether it’s a guided tour from the gastrobar to the semi-hidden bathrooms or a particular menu request for the kitchen. Wine and cocktails are treated as seriously as the food, with sommeliers drawing from a catalogue of 250 carefully sourced wines and an extensive menu of creative and classic cocktails. Hospitality is raised to a new level, with no request too much for the accommodating and personable front-of-house members.

There are multiple menus at Astrid y Gastón and each provides a special experience, taking in the mix of cultures that make up Peruvian cuisine and adaptations on traditional dishes with creations such as Peking guinea pig pancakes and Lima ceviche. Gutsche’s dessert presentation is an art form, with a series of delicate sweets and palate-cleansers followed by a vast chest of drawers filled with row upon row of perfectly handmade chocolates and other sweet treats.

With the king and queen of Peruvian cuisine back at the helm of Astrid y Gastón, the experience has gone from brilliant to best, and a culinary pilgrimage to Peru is well worth the journey.

Astrid y Gastón
Av. Paz Soldán 290
San Isidro
Lima 27
+51 1 442 2775
astridygaston.com

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