Christopher Kese was born in Seattle 32 years ago, but a large part of his heart resides in Peru. He arrived in the country ten years ago to work on a thesis about terrorism, and through that he fell in love with several things, among them the country’s food.
“I always loved the Latin American culture,” Kese told El Comercio. “I had visited various countries in the region, but I liked Peru the best.” After finishing his thesis, which included a stay in Ayacucho, Kese started to focus on his current passion: gastronomy.
He studied cooking and Lima, and after passing through the kitchens of El Señorío de Sulco, Astrid & Gastón, La Mar and La Mar San Francisco, he decided to open his own business. “It’s tough for a gringo to learn all of the criollo touches and the secrets of such a delicious cuisine. I did it by always observing and learning from experienced chefs,” Kese commented.
Rocio Burga, his Peruvian girlfriend, is one of his greatest supports in San Francisco. Opening a restaurant involves a large investment, so before taking such a risk, they decided to try their luck with street food, the now-famous mobile food stands.
Following the tradition of the old anticucho stands, Kese prepares this delicious plate in the open air, in a locale within these large food fairs. His business, Lima – Peruvian Food, is one of the most popular, due to its Peruvian flavor and the seasoning that this gringo gives it.
“Street food is really fashionable. We operate in San Francisco and the surrounding areas. There are a lot of businesses, a lot of different offerings, and fortunately, ours has wide acceptance,” said Burga.
Anticuchos are the speciality of Lima – Peruvian Food, which offers varieties made with beef heart, steak, chicken and, for vegetarians, mushrooms. The secret is marinating them in ají panka, as well as ingredients brought from Peru.
The anticuchos are served with papa a la huancaína. “It’s a new way to present the dish,” she said. The tacu tacu is another success story. Chicha morada is the star drink, and the couple is already thinking of new additions to the menu.
“We are thinking about selling lomo saltado, and including quinoa in our dishes. Solterito is another interesting option,” the couple said.
Recently, they catered a party at Facebook: “It was a very important event. We were one of the four offerings, and the people were enchanted.”
For more information, check out the stand\‘s Facebook page.