Once seen as a stop on the way to Machu Picchu and Cusco, Lima is now a must-visit destination fueled by headline-grabbing culinary scene. There are many ways to get under a city’s skin but experiencing them through a hands-on cooking class in a private home has to be one of the most delicious, authentic ways.
This morning, meet your host, a local limeña chef, and set out to discover the influences, flavors, and history behind Lima’s cuisine. Start your exploration at a colorful local market to understand the foodstuffs that are the drivers of Peruvian cuisine. Stacks of produce burst with color from the rainbow-colored limo peppers to orange huancaína chilies, vibrant Green key limes (for those Pisco sours), a potpourri of native potatoes, coca leaves, buckets of quinoa, pulses, and colored corn. Learn about the two ocean currents that are responsible for the plethora of seafood and fish on the Peruvian coast, regional meats, and the ancient traditions that are the pillars of Peru’s gastronomy. Shop for ingredients for the class as you saunter through the market.
Head to Lima’s bohemian art district, Barranco, perched on the cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. Once a summertime resort of the Lima elite and home to Bohemian upper crust like writer Mario Vargas Llosa, the area has flair with many intellectuals setting up their talleres, studios and great restaurants. Join your host on a tour this neighborhood today is filled with art galleries, European style parks, pubs, a marigold-studded square, and the famous Puente de Suspiros (Bridge of Sighs), an old wooden bridge over a bougainvillea-lined walkway with guitar players and women selling roses.
Return to her gorgeous Barranco apartment overlooking the Lima coastline that stretches out below. First raise your pisco sour in a hearty salud before getting your hands dirty. Learn the techniques behind classic Peruvian coastal and criollo dishes like causa, ceviche, lomo saltado, or ají de gallina. The menú rotates with the seasons and focuses only on the freshest ingredients. Afterwards, partake in the feast you’ve created–in the best of company.
Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.