Welcome words from the Ambassador of Peru





Peruvian Chilies: Inside the Soul of a Global Gastronomic Trend

The Hague, 20 September 2016


Distinguished Ambassadors,
Dear guests and friends,

I am honored to welcome you to this savory event. We have been working hard to make this a memorable evening, to open your senses and to inspire you with a spicy touch.

We, Peruvians, are proud of many things: Of the Incas, the Nazca Lines, Machu Picchu, the Amazon, the Andean Mountains, of our recent economic and social achievements, and, of course of our food.

We have found in our gastronomy a cohesive factor that is binding us together every day. We might spend hours talking about the best way to prepare this or that particular dish, looking for the perfect recipe and for that special but subtle spicy hint … And others have noticed it. No wonder that the Wall Street Journal has named the Peruvian food “the next big thing” or that The Economist points to the Peruvian cuisine as a “gastronomic revolution”.

It would not be possible to condense in one single night all different cuisines from Peru. The Peruvian cuisine has a large variety of flavors, a reflection of its coast, the Andean mountains and the Amazon jungle. It is a mirror of our 90 different microclimates but it also is a melting pot of cultures, from different times and places.

It would not be possible either to show you in one night the more than 3,000 varieties of potatoes or the 55 types of corn that are grown in Peru. Instead, we decided to focus on the Peruvian chili peppers, an ingredient that in its many varieties can be found in most dishes from our traditional and modern cuisine. Chilies are so important for us that even four hundred years ago, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, our first mestizo writer, already mentioned the “Ucho” or hot chili pepper in his “Royal commentaries of the Incas”. He said: “People from my land are so fond of the ucho, that they will not eat anything without it, even uncooked herbs”.

Dear friends.

It is no coincidence that “Peruvian Chilies: Inside the Soul of a Global Gastronomic Trend” takes place in this month. September has gained its space in the Peruvian gastronomy due to Mistura, an annual event –probably the most important in the Americas- that explores new Peruvian culinary trends and seeks excellence for the benefit of its visitors. If you have not gone yet, I invite you to add this event in your “to do list” for the coming years.

In the Netherlands, we began our gastronomic celebrations last week with the presentation of Jorge Benavides, a Peruvian writer, who illustrated us at the Utrecht Cervantes Institute on the link between gastronomy and literature. Yesterday, Virgilio Martinez, a top Peruvian chef was in ChefsRevolution, in Zwolle, representing the high standards of our cuisine. And today, we are glad to have with us James Berckemeyer, another top Peruvian chef who has come from Lima especially for this event. James will provide us with an insight into the Peruvian cuisine by leading two master classes, whilst a selection of Peruvian restaurants from the Benelux will indulge your palates.

I do not want to take too much of your time, but before I finish I would like to thank the executives from Verstegen, whose support has been key for this event, and also to all the restaurants, trading companies, entrepreneurs and the staff whose commitment has made “Peruvian chilies” possible.

I wish you all an inspiring, tasty and memorable evening.

Thank you

The Peruvian cuisine from a dutch perspective


Jeroen van der Graaf, Creative Innovation Manager, Verstegen Spices & Sauces

James Berckemeyer in Peruvian Chilies

Demo: The versatility of Leche de Tigre

A big thank you to all those ones who made possible this event!

Ceviche y Maas
Pachamama on wheels
Peruvian Cuisine NL
El Sabor Andino
Somos Peru
Fia International
Que rico!... van Miryam
Don Santos Latin Products
Verstegen Spices and Sauces

Ceviche y Maas