Taste of Peru
Lima and Cusco, Peru
About the location: Peruvian cuisine is considered one of the most diverse in the world and is on par with French, Chinese and Indian cuisine. Thanks to its many influences, from pre-Inca and Inca heritage to Spanish, Basque, African, Cantonese, Japanese and finally Italian, French and British immigration (mainly throughout the 19th century), Peruvian cuisine combines the flavors of four continents, making it an ideal spot for culinary vacations in South America. With the eclectic variety of traditional dishes, the Peruvian culinary arts are in constant evolution and impossible to list in their entirety. Suffice it to mention that along the Peruvian coast alone there are more than two thousand different types of soups, and that there are more than 250 traditional desserts.
Your week-long culinary tour in this amazing country will take place in Lima and Cusco. The history of Lima, the capital of Peru, began with its foundation by Francisco Pizarro in 1535. The city was established on the valley of the Rímac river, and it became the capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru. Currently a vast metropolitan city, with around one-third of the Peruvian population living in the metropolitan area, Lima still retains its deep roots in Spanish colonial style and architecture. Strongly influenced by European, Andean, and Asian culture, Lima is a melting pot of cultures due to colonization, immigration, and indigenous influences. Like many other world capitals, Lima is home to prestigious museums and cultural sites, many of which are world renowned.
Situated at 11,151 feet, Cusco is the historic capital of the Inca Empire and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. The name Cusco is derived from the Quechua phrase “qusqu wanka” which means “rock of the owl.” The original Incan city, said to have been founded in the 11th century, was sacked by Pizarro in 1535. There are still remains, however, of the palace of the Incas the Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Virgins of the Sun. Today Cusco is the most important tourist destination in Peru and home to one of the newly selected seven wonders of the world: Machu Picchu.
During your Peru cooking school vacation, you will have the unique opportunity to dine in and experience both the traditional city of Lima and the magical capital city of the Inca’s, Cusco. Both cities will offer you a very rich, yet entirely different cultural and gastronomic experience for you to savour. Whether it’s experiencing the richness of Peruvian natural resources in their purest form during a visit to the market in Lima, or feeling the spiritual awakening of seeing the majesty of Machu Picchu, both cities will be sure to leave you with a sense of enlightenment.
About the lessons: During your four hands-on cooking classes you will have the luxury of working with some of Peru’s greatest and most accomplished culinary pioneers. Their varied expertise will be showcased in the hands-on cooking classes you will receive. You will have the opportunity to participate in walking city tours of both Lima and Cusco. Lima is a historical city and during your walking tour you will gain valuable insight as to the traditions—both gastronomic and cultural— found on every street corner. In Cusco you will need to bring a camera to capture the magic of the main Cathedral or the ruins of Sacsayhuaman. Cooking classes are laid back with an emphasis on learning the importance of the ingredients, as well as the methods and traditions of preparing them. They are always great fun and informal.
Your culinary vacation in Peru is a week of exquisite food in two historically and culturally rich cities, with plenty of time to unwind and relax with your fellow Peruvian culinary enthusiasts.