Westchester to Sample a Taste of Peru

In the Andean region of Peru, women prepare pachamanca, a dish of spiced meats and vegetables cooked on and under hot stones. (Photo by Sam Grey, Flickr Creative Commons License)

The smell of spiced meats cooking under hot stones will waft through the air and the tang of seafood “cooked” in lime juice will tantalize palates in Rye Brook this weekend at the first Peruvian gastronomic event in the history of Westchester County.

The event, Tasting at Peru Food Festival & Expo, will be held Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.  The organizers plan on bringing more than pachamanca, ceviche and other national dishes to the Crawford Park event, however.

“We need to show the people our food, our tradition in a good way,” said Angel Bojanovich, a Peruvian-born chef and owner of a catering company called Kawsita.

Chefs will be presenting dishes from all across Peru with traditional dishes from the Andes (pachamanca), the coast (ceviche), the jungle (juanes – seasoned rice wrapped in leaves) and Cusco (chiriuchu – a multilayered dish with chicken, eggs, cheese, potatoes and corn).

While guests savor the Peruvian foods, they will be entertained by Peruvian musicians like Yuri Juárez and the Afro-Peruvian Jazz Band, Carlos Yamasaki, and Agua Bella, a  female band coming from Peru.

“My expectation is to show people who we are and what I’m doing here; we need to show our culture,” Bojanovich said.

Organized by Westchester Hispano, the largest Spanish language newspaper in the Westchester area, the festival has strong Peruvian backing.

left-right:  Conrado Falco, Commercial Office of Peru In New York; peruvian chef Angel Bojanovich; ambassador María Teresa Merino de Hart; María del Carmen Amado, Westchester Hispano's editor; councilman of Port Chester, Luis Marino; Yenny Espinoza, chef from Cusco; musicians Sofía Tosello and Yuri Juárez, that will perform at Tasting at Perú; cultural minister of Peru, Orlando Velorio; peruvian food importer Julio Castillo, of Del Campo Foods, sponsor of Tasting at Perú, at the press conference in Nueva York.

Left to right: Conrado Falco of the Commercial Office of Peru In New York; cook Lilian Abarca, chef Angel Bojanovich; Ambassador María Teresa Merino de Hart; María del Carmen Amado, Westchester Hispano’s editor; Port Chester Councilman Luis Marino; Yenny Espinoza, cook from Cusco; musicians Sofía Tosello and Yuri Juárez, who will perform at Tasting at Perú; cultural minister of Peru, Orlando Velorio; Peruvian food importer Julio Castillo, of Del Campo Foods, sponsor of Tasting at Perú, at the press conference in Nueva York.

The event is supported by Ambassador Maria Teresa Merino Hart, the Consul General of Peru in New York; Orlando Velorio, the Minister of Culture of the Peruvian Consulate; Conrado Falco, the director of the Commercial Office of Peru in New York; Luis Marino, Councilman of Port Chester; and last but not least Westchester’s local Peruvian chefs.

The tasting is meant to encourage young and adult chefs, future restaurant owners and Peruvian local caterers, according to Westchester Hispano.

Along with other Peruvian chefs at the event, Bojanovich said he is open to answering questions about his spin on traditional Peruvian meals and how he manages his catering business.

Bojanovich shared some advice for aspiring Peruvian chefs: “You have to do the right thing, you have to do everything with love because without love it is only food.  So you have to be happy when you cook, [because] if everyone is yelling then nothing will be good. Enjoy what you do because it’s not an easy job.”

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