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Robert Ortiz: Peruvian cuisine demonstration

Chef Robert Ortiz in front of Le Cordon Bleu London audience

On Thursday 16th November 2017, we were honoured to welcome guest chef Robert Ortiz to Le Cordon Bleu London. Chef Ortiz brought colourful ingredients to our kitchen with the diverse flavours of Peru.

Before moving to London, Chef Ortiz began his career in the restaurant Costa Verde in Lima, and then worked in Spanish and Italian restaurants in London as well as The Landmark Hotel. In 2012, Cuisine Diploma Alumnus Virgilio Martinez entrusted Chef Ortiz to head the kitchen of his restaurant Lima in Fitzrovia. Robert Ortiz received the ultimate culinary recognition in 2013 when the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star - the first Peruvian restaurant in Europe to be recognised by the famous French Guide.

Peruvian cuisine is renowned for being colourful and healthy and this was evident in Chef Ortiz’s cooking style. He prepared a popular Peruvian dish of ceviche which was accompanied by a blend of three coloured quinoa and delicately adorned with bright edible flowers. The refreshing dish captured the essence of warmth and summer which was a well-balanced contrast to London's November weather!

Chef Ortiz used a wide range of ingredients including edible flowers, white corn, three blend quinoa, scallops, cod, seabass, fresh herbs and chillies. The audience were served two different dishes of ceviche, one with scallops and the other with cod and seabass, alongside a bowl of quinoa. All the ingredients were meticulously prepared in many little bowls displayed for the audience to try.

Chef Ortiz mentioned that the basis for the dish’s flavour was due to the use of coriander, lime and vegetable stock. To further add to the colourful dish, he mixed some of the quinoa with beetroot, some with green herbs, and achieved the yellow colour by using a certain type of cactus. Those in attendance also enjoyed delicious tasters and even took selfies with the much-admired chef.

The enthusiastic audience were informed about Peru’s superfoods, ingredients, cuisine and vibrant culture. Peru has approximately 35 microclimates due to their three main regions of coast, highlands and jungle which allows for a vast number of ingredients to grow and flourish. Superfoods of Peru consists of five key categories, namely, super fruits, super herbs, super roots, super vegetables, super fish and super grains. Sourcing ingredients locally plays a big part in Peruvian culture as it means the ingredients are fresh, adding more flavour to the food and is also cost effective for local businesses. The country’s diverse cuisine is influenced by the Europeans, Africans and Asians who settled in the region as they could grow their ingredients there.

We would like to thank Chef Robert Ortiz and the Peruvian Embassy for sharing their wonderful cuisine with us at Le Cordon Bleu London!