Cooking up Dreams (De Ollas y Sueños)

Anyone who has been to Peru will remember the food. It’s the endless variety, all cooked up into one cataclysmic explosion in your mouth experience, that is putting Peru on the map these days. Restaurants all over the world are embracing the cuisine, and as one fellow twitterer mentioned, she even found it on the menu of a Japanese restaurant in Havana. With progress in Peru comes the unstoppable force of thousands of people, all cooks by birth, the opportunity to travel the world and showcase our cuisine to the people of the Planet.

On April 14th Peruvian cuisine will once again be showcased to the world in none other then one of the planets greatest metropolitan centers; New York City. Ollas y Sueño (Cooking up Dreams) will be premiered with much fanfare at the Havana Film Festival in Manhattan. The film itself follows Peruvian Gastronomy and it’s growth throughout the world. Directed by Ernesto Cabellos Damián, this documentary traces the roots of Peruvian Cuisine from early Peruvian history to its modern fusion of flavors from many different ethnicities.

Nicholas Gill of New World Review explains:

De Ollas y Sueños begins in the Amazon, walking through the Belen market in Iquitos and follows as food is sold and prepared in its most raw forms. Then we move to London and the Lima restaurant Malabar, where Amazonian ingredients have only begun to capture the attention of the world. Malabar chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, one of many of Peru’s top chefs that appear in the film, describes how restaurants like his are attempting to build on traditional cuisine. The film follows Schiaffino to Madrid fusion, as an international crowd is wowed by the range of undiscovered ingredients from Peru, such as Gamitana, a type of fruit eating piranha. There’s a future there Schiaffino says.

Next the film moves back and forth between the present and past, showing the criollo foods surrounding the Señor de Milagros procession in Lima. Most of the foods are created from scraps we are told. These leftovers are given flavor in the face of adversity, meaning that poorer Peruvians have given their heart and soul into the dishes and they have all become national staples eaten by all walks of life.

The film features famous Peruvian Chefs like Gaston Acurio, Juan Mari Arzak and Bernardo Roca Rey. Together they take a look into Peruvian Cuisine, it’s dishes unknown and well known. The end result is a testament to the many flavors of Peru, a gastronomic wonder, only to be rivaled with Peru’s physical beauty and warmth of its people. Below is the appetite inducing trailer to this great new film.


Julio C. Tello

Founder of Karikuy, an organization in Peru that brings travelers to visit and explore the country. Julio also runs the Karikuy Volunteer program and is the editor of this blog. Julio likes to write about his adventures in Peru as well as Peruvian folklore, mysteries and secluded locations.

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