On my last day in Cusco, after eating my weight in food over the previous two weeks, I really wanted to see how at least some of that food was made, so I found a cooking class that included a tour of the San Pedro Market. There were a few companies offering classes, but only one that seemed smaller and more intimate, where we wouldn’t be limited to watching a Chef prepare food but would be involved in every aspect of the preparation. In the early afternoon, I met the Owner and Chef, Christian, at the entrance to the market, along with two brothers from Austin, to begin our journey. We spent probably half an hour zigzagging our way through the myriad of stalls filled with all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and potatoes (so, so many potatoes), as well as chocolate and coffee as Christian explained the history of the various ingredients we’d be using for making our dinner. Leaving the market and walking up a few blocks to the TASTE Peruvian cooking studio, we were instructed to put on our aprons and get to work.
We started off, as one does, with making Pisco Sours with a twist, by adding some Passionfruit. From there, we made Tiradito, an Asian-inspired version of Ceviche, with peanut sauce, avocados, oyster sauce, and sesame oil, before moving to the main course of sesame-encrusted sous-vide prepared Alpaca steak and finishing up with a cherimoya parfait and locally grown coffee. It was an amazing and delicious way to finish off my trip.
I’m pretty sure I only identified 10-15% of all of the fruits, veggies, spices, and other assorted foodstuffs that I saw.
The selection of local fruits was unbelievable, including my favorite half ice-cream and half-fruit – the cherimoya.
Grains took probably 2-3 aisles, including Quinoa (and all its varieties), as well as every variety of rice, corn, and wheat.
There was an entire section just devoted to local cheese, including this giant selection.
In addition to buying food, there was lots of space for fresh coffee, tea, and fruit juices.
A few people grabbing some lunch
Upon arriving in the TASTE studio, all of the ingredients for a Pisco Sour awaited us.
Here’s Christian explaining how our stations work, as we get to work on making our appetizer.
Slicing our fish sashimi-style.
Final presentation. Ours didn’t *quite* look this good, obviously.
Adding some smokey flavor to the potatoes.