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Chef Ferran Adrià, the Spanish chef whose name is said with a hushed reverence in the upper echelons of gastronomy, has found a newfound culinary inspiration which will be the theme of his next restaurant: Nikkei cuisine.
It’s the perfect fusion of his two greatest culinary interests: Japanese foods and his latest obsession, Peruvian fare.
Adrià, whose now-shuttered restaurant El Bulli topped the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list five times, has made it no secret that his favorite cuisine and biggest inspiration is Japan.
And a trip to Peru last year likewise fired up the chef’s imagination, a cuisine that is quickly en point to becoming a global food trend thanks to the celebrity star power of chef ambassador Gastón Acurio, the Jamie Oliver-equivalent of Latin America.
But it’s not just Acurio’s rapidly expanding restaurant empire that’s behind Peruvian cuisine’s growing popularity. It’s also the rich heritage of a cuisine that’s described as a complex, cross-pollination of cultures influenced by the Japanese and Chinese diasporas which spawned Nikkei – Japanese and Peruvian cuisine – and Chinese and Peruvian, or Chifa cuisine.
'Adrià to put Peru on the map'
In an interview with Peruvian newspaper El Comercio, Adrià said he plans to put Peru on the map and champion the merits of the country through its food, working alongside Acurio as another unofficial ambassador.
At his new Nikkei restaurant, vegetables native to both countries will take the spotlight, he tells the paper. So far, Adrià says he’s selected 10 vegetables from each country which will, presumably, undergo the kind of kitchen alchemy that made Adrià lead a movement of molecular gastronomy which drew faithful disciples like René Redzepi, Grant Achatz, Andoni Luis Aduriz and José Andrés into the fold.
And why Nikkei? Because it will allow him more creative freedom, he said, with dual cuisines to work with. Moreover, Nikkei fare is still developing, he added, suggesting there’s opportunity to help mold the emerging cuisine.
Other details he shared with the paper included the fact that the dining room will be staffed with a Peruvian and the kitchen staffed by a Japanese woman.
While no opening date has been set, the 30-seat eatery will be located beside his tapas restaurant Tickets in Barcelona and be run along with his brother Albert. - Relaxnews