My last visit to Peru was back in summer 2013, both starting and ending in the wonderful, vibrant city of Lima. For many tourists, Lima is a necessary stop on the tour, but many simply pass through en route to the more famous tourist sites, like Cuzco, Arequipa and Lake Titicaca. For me, this incredible metropolis is one of the highlights of the country, and for those with time to explore, you’ll be rewarded with unexpected treasures once you’ve scratched its mysterious surface.
Partly due to its immense size, Lima is one of Peru’s culinary hotspot – and certainly the best place to try cutting-edge Peruvian cuisine. It’s experienced an explosion of chef schools in recent years, fuelled by a new confidence in the local traditions, which are being reinvigorated by celebrity chefs such as Gaston Acurio and Virgilio Martinez. These schools are starting to gain more interest from abroad too, and SkyKitchen is the most accessible entry point for many travellers to learn how to cook some of the country’s most-loved dishes.
What’s the big idea?
SkyKitchen offers a variety of short courses in the heart of Lima’s Miraflores district. The name refers to its location at the top of a residential block, giving visitors a view of the city as they prepare their food… and eat it! Classes can be conducted in groups or in private, in English, Spanish or German. We joined a group class and shared the experience with fellow Brits, as well as Australians and Americans – and we found it to be a great social experience too. When we visited SkyKitchen was rated as the #1 activity in Lima – so it’s obviously not just us who had a great time!
What will I learn?
Visitors are given hands-on, step-by-step instructions on how to prepare a number of dishes, depending on the course they have chosen. I took part in the ‘Dinner Class’, and we made several famous dishes: ceviche, causa rellena, lomo saltado and picarones (deep-friend pumpkin doughnuts) for dessert. You’ll learn about some of the key ingredients such as aji rocoto and aji amarillo, and alongside tasty accompaniments like maiz cancha.
There are a number of different classes, including the ‘Andean delicacies’ class for the adventurous amongst you – alpaca meat and quinoa are central to the meal! Some of the classes are suitable for vegetarians, just let the guys know in advance.
Find out more
Skykitchen on their website, www.skykitchen.pe. You can also find them on Facebook or Tripadvisor. Classes start at $57 per person, including all ingredients and tuition. The school can be found at the following address: Enrique Palacios 470, Door No. 701/709, Miraflores, Lima 18.