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Renowned Chefs Gastón Acurio and Ferran Adrià Showcase
Peruvian Cuisine as Agent for Social Change at DC’s First Cebiche & Pisco Party
WASHINGTON, DC — With Washington DC’s first Cebiche & Pisco Party, held at the Inter-American Development Bank, Peru’s Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, along with PromPerú and the Embassy of Perú, kicked off the Brand Peru marketing campaign in the U.S. The event purpose was to showcase the variety and quality of Peruvian cuisine and highlight its increasingly prominent place on America’s culinary scene. The U.S. is the number one importer of the distinctive Peruvian brandy known as Pisco.
In addition to celebrity chefs Gastón Acurio and Ferran Adrià, in attendance at the event were various important US figures from the worlds of business, politics, society, travel and gastronomy. The event was hosted by Peru’s Deputy Minister of Tourism Claudia Cornejo; Peru’s ambassador to the United States Harold Forsyth; IADB President Luis Alberto Moreno; and IADB Executive Director Kurt Burneo.
At the Cebiche & Pisco Party, Gastón Acurio and Ferran Adrià presented the Washington, DC premiere of “Perú Sabe: Cuisine as an Agent of Social Change,” sponsored by Telefónica, a world leader in Information and Communications Technology. This 62-minute film, produced by Media Networks and Tensacalma in partnership with Univision, brings brilliantly to the fore the diversity, quality, and and growing global influence of Peru’s cuisine, as well as its growing role in promoting social inclusion and economic growth in the country. Award-winning Peruvian filmmaker Claudia Llosa’s spot “You’ll Remember Peru,” produced expressly for the Brand Peru marketing campaign, was also screened. The event finished with a live cooking demonstration on how to prepare Cebiche, Peru’s best-known dish, along with its national cocktail, the Pisco sour.
The U.S. is a key market for Peru, both as its largest trade partner, second largest source of tourism, and third largest investor in its economy. Peru has held up quite well in these difficult economic times, its economy showing a sustained growth of 7% over the last 35 months thanks to strong investment, which reached US$32.7 billion in 2011 and is forecast at $35.9 billion in 2012. In addition, Peru has become the world’s eighth-fastest growing economy, its GDP expanding by 73.2 percent between 2002 and 2010.
Tourist arrivals from the U.S. have also been on the increase. Of the 2.5 million visitors to Peru in 2011 (up from 1.5 million in 2005), more than 515,000 were from the U.S. (up from just over 330,000 in 2005). U.S. visitors tend to be between 25 and 54 years old, with a university degree or higher, and largely residing in urban areas of California, New York, Florida, and the Washington, DC region.
The International Campaign “You’ll Remember Peru”
The centerpiece of Brand Peru’s current marketing campaign is You’ll Remember Peru, a spot directed by Leandro Raposo, global creative director of McCann-Erickson Worldwide and produced by filmmaker Claudia Llosa, whose The Milk of Sorrow received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010. The goal of the spot is to further strengthen Peru’s positive image as a country that is modern, attractive and ever growing.
Though this campaign has been primarily directed at an international audience, it has also found favor among Peruvians themselves, and went viral on YouTube the weekend it was uploaded, becoming the most viewed video in all categories.
The Documentary “Perú Sabe: Cuisine as an Agent of Social Change”
When world-famous Spanish chef Ferran Adrià arrived in Peru for the first time in 2011 to speak at the Lima edition of the world "Partners for transformation" tour with Telefónica, he was impressed by the enormous lines of culinary students waiting to attend the sessions. And it was with this in mind that, together with Peru’s most famous chef Gastón Acurio, Adrià embarked upon an itinerary throughout the country – including its coastal areas, the Andes, and the Amazon rainforest– in search not just of local flavors but of the experiences that lie behind them. Thus was born this unique documentary that shows the world the remarkable social and culinary phenomenon that is happening in Peru.
The film’s world premiere took place this past June 8 before thousands of young culinary students in Lima’s Exposition Park, with Peruvian president Ollanta Humala Tasso in attendance. Its international premiere took place June 11 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, and then premiered at events in Barcelona and Madrid in October.
“Peruvian cuisine as a social phenomenon is unique in the world, and a shining example for many other countries,” Adrià commented afterwards. “My experience of Peru’s various regions has led me to discover a cuisine that reflects both the country’s remarkable biodiversity and centuries’ worth of Latin American cultures. I’m certain that many chefs throughout the world will be eager to incorporate Peruvian culinary influences once they learn how much the cuisine has to offer. There is a lot that can be learned from Peru.”
For his part, Gastón Acurio stated that “this documentary is a living testament to how Peruvian cuisine has found just the right recipe for promoting the country’s social and economic development, a concept of ‘activist cuisine’ that is spreading throughout Latin America, while the IDB President emphasized the importance that culture and creativity plays in development, highlighting the social and economic impact of the Peruvian gastronomy sector.
Editor’s Note: Interviews, photographs and other information are available upon request.