This article was originally published in the September issue of An Extra Shot. To enjoy the entire issue for free, download your e-version here.
In its 9th edition, this year’s Mistura will welcome guest visits from international chefs accompanied by fresh new flavors from India, Mexico, Morocco and more. Forwarding this call for international union will be Peru’s Chef Palmiro Ocampo who aims to bring a more sustainable focus to one of the largest gastronomic fairs in the world.
Palmiro Ocampo, sustainable chef and owner of 1087 Bistro, is the youngest chef to direct Mistura. This gastronomy festival’s theme this year is Cocinas milenarias (Ancient cuisines), and it will be taking place September 2 – 11 in Magdalena del Mar’s Costa Verde. The best news that Chef Ocampo has shared with us is that for this edition the International Congress of Gastronomy that holds keynotes from Peruvian and now international chefs, will be free – unlike previous years which cost two hundred dollars per person.
Chef Ocampo graciously took the time to tell us what this year’s edition will hold and what we have to look forward to.
Besides helping the growth of tourism, what do you feel Mistura promotes? What will you be promoting this year?
Mistura was first known as Peru Mucho Gusto. It was something impressive to me, it was like Disneyland. You would arrive at one place and see all the different restaurants of Lima and provinces, and the market with products from different producers. That’s what Mistura promotes. It promotes gastronomy, which is one of our cultural expressions. Culture, identity, and idiosyncrasy: now more than ever this is what it’s promoting.
I’ll be promoting not only to talk about gastronomy as restaurants, kitchens or cooks, but to understand the proposal of what is gastronomy. Gastronomy: the science that studies the relationship between man and food in constant harmony with its environment and surroundings. So that’s what gastronomy really is and the kitchen is just another ingredient. So what will we do to draw this connection? We’ve invited social entrepreneurs related to food roles who will give different information about their projects so that the public can learn not only about the kitchen or restaurants, but also learn about compost and initiatives such as Banco de Alimentos [and] other initiatives and organizations dedicated to food that donate to our country other than chefs, but that are not heard of because they aren’t trending like the kitchen is. Mistura will be a big international platform to give support to these organizations.
This year Mistura has been chosen as the brand that most represents Peruvians, more so than Inca Kola, which is a big achievement. This means that Peruvians are happy with Mistura and they identify with it.
What will you be talking about in this year’s seminar?
I will be presenting Ccori: reciclaje culinario, fantasía de una cocina óptima (Ccori: culinary recycling, fantasy of an optimal kitchen) which is the foundation that I’m organizing. Between the kitchen and culinary recycling we hope to generalize consciousness in our society of food waste and explain how we can establish ourselves as a tool to combat world hunger.
I will also be presenting in the kitchen of the world market a plate from 1087 Bistro (my restaurant) and we will sell four hundred rations. I won’t be the only one doing this, other chefs will be participating as a part of a format 5 estrellas a 5 soles where emblematic chefs of Peru will present a dish using a product from a market producer. I’ll be using mashua which has been donated to me, as well as pajuro, a giant amazonian bean.
In with the new:
With hopes that their bold flavors will spark interest in the hearts of Peruvians, international chefs from France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Morocco among others will be attending this year’s festival representing a taste of each of their restaurants. Some will also graciously offer keynote speeches in the main auditorium of Mistura. The Mexican chefs arriving this year include Benito Molina (owner of Manzanilla), Javier Plascencia (owner of 10 varied menu restaurants), Guillermo González Beristáin (owner of 6 tasty restaurants), Diego Hernández Baquedano (owner of Corazón de Tierra) and Jorge Vallejo (owner of modern restaurant Quintonil).