Reflections on the Everyday – Sky Kitchen Cooking Class in Lima

If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay home. James Michener

Food is our common ground, a universal experienceJames Beard

What better way to spend my last evening in Peru than to participate in a cooking class in Lima.  I strongly recommend taking a cooking class in any country you are visiting.  

Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a cultureMark Kurlansky

Through the classes you learn about the history and agriculture of the local area. Food is an extension of the local culture and customs. The cooking experience enables you to use your senses of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.  And the newly gained knowledge and skills can be utilized back home to enable family and friends to share in your culinary and travel experiences. 

A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.  Thomas Keller

Prior to leaving for Peru, my travelling companions got together to prepare for the trip.  Phyllis and I prepared several Peruvian dishes and drink from recipes we had found in cookbooks and online.  While the food was wonderful and reflected what we experienced during our travels, my experience at the cooking class really did bring `soul` to the food.

Thanks to the connections that are made through blogging I found out about Sky Kitchen.  Sky Kitchen is an amazing experience – from the location, the atmosphere, the food and most importantly our hosts (Yurac and Christian) – this is a ‘must do’ experience if you are in Lima.  Check them out at http://www.skykitchen.pe/  

The class prepared a four course meal.

Causa Rellena  – what a great way to start the class and any meal.  This dish includes potatoes (over 3800 varieties are found in Peru) and aji amarillo molida (yellow chili paste).  When I returned to Canada I could not find any of the yellow peppers but was able to purchase online and have prepared this dish several times.

Potatoes and aji amarillo molido

Chef Yurac demonstrating how to prepare the Causa

My finished product

We are all so proud of our first course. Note the wonderful view from the Sky Kitchen location

Cebiche (or as we call it here Ceviche) – before I had left for Peru I was urged by several friends to make sure that I had ceviche while in Peru – in their estimation it is the best in the world.  I am now looking forward to making them this dish in the Peruvian tradition.

Ingredients for Cebiche

Preparing the fish

Adding seaweed to the sauce

The final dish

Loma Saltado – this dish combines the historic Asian influences with Peruvian ingredients.

Ingredients for Loma Saltado – note the soy sauce and peruvian peppers – a blending of two cultures

The final dish

Picarones – these delicious pumpkin and sweet potato donuts are often sold by street vendors.

The picarone dough and cane and fig leaf syrup

Yurac demonstrating proper technique

Attempting to make a picarone

You can tell which ones were made by the chef and which ones were mine

There is communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine drunk  M.F.K. Fisher   

Thank you Yurac and Christian for a wonderful evening

I look forward to sharing this wonderful meal with family and friends and reflect on my amazing journey to Peru.

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