SUMAQ Peruvian Food Festival to Celebrate 7th Edition

Roasted lamb from Kankachos Tinajani. (Photo from the SUMAQ Peruvian Food Festival via El Diario)

In Quechua, the word “sumaq” means delicious. That is the official name of the Peruvian Food Festival whose seventh edition will take place on Long Island on Aug. 26 and 27.

The popular event, to be held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, brings together the best of New York’s Peruvian cuisine and representatives of stand-out Peruvian restaurants from across Peru. They will be presenting over 30 traditional dishes, plus one novelty: Crispy cuy – guinea pig – with quinoa risotto.

Festival coordinator Vicky Díaz explained that more than 20 restaurants will be showcasing their food, and a number of the most renowned Peruvian chefs in the tri-state area and Peru will also be there.

“Alongside the Peruvian Gastronomy Association (APEGA), our mission is to promote and spread Peruvian cuisine and culture in New York. We work hard every year to show the diversity of Peruvian gastronomy and introduce the talented chefs who are innovating and taking our ancestral flavors to another level,” she said.

This year, the award for Chef of the Year will be presented to young entrepreneur José Luis Chávez, co-owner and head chef at Mission Ceviche in New York City, for his humanitarian spirit.

“José really represents our mission. Not only do we have the honor of having him accept this award, but we are also inspired by his work. Recently, he led a campaign to bring chefs together from around the world to raise money to help devastated communities in Peru and Venezuela,” said Díaz.

On his Facebook page, Chávez said that he receives the award “with great humility,” adding: “I have been a blessed and fortunate person, [and] my situation has been very different from that of many immigrants who come to this country in search of the American dream. I arrived with a visa and on a plane, with a family who received me and supported me from the [beginning]. The decision I made to travel to Peru to study and discover my roots marked and reaffirmed my passion and love for Peru. It was a key and important moment for my development as promoter and diffuser of Peruvian gastronomy.”

With his bold, fresh style, Chávez uses social media to promote Peruvian cuisine. As an example, in his videos he is seen staging outdoor tastings of flounder and of siquisapas – giant ants from the Peruvian jungle – which had a great reception among those who dared to try them.

Grilled pork from Al Cilindro de Javi. (Photo from the SUMAQ Peruvian Food Festival via El Diario)

The participants

Juan Talledo’s La Caja China Peruana – a favorite of the general public – will bring chicken and roasted pork dishes, Tamales Magaly Silva will be serving a quinoa variety of their specialty, and Kankachos Tinajani will have their roasted lamb. In addition, the owners of restaurants El Pregón, La Matarina, Antojitos Chotanos, Calamarcos and Al Cilindro de Javi will also offer their dishes.

Live cooking demonstrations will be held at the museum’s Dome Theater between 2:30 and 6:00 p.m. on both days. Chefs José Luis Chávez from Mission Ceviche, Miguel Aguilar from Surfish Bistro, Ezequiel Valencia from Jalea Restaurant and José Luján will be at work.

Space is limited for these cooking demonstrations, and reservations are recommended. For more information, visit the festival’s official site at: www.sumaqpff.com.

According to the festival’s program, the audience can also enjoy performances by a number of traditional Peruvian music groups (..). Handcrafts will be sold as well, and a special area has been designated where kids will have the chance to play the popular game “el sapito,” or “the little toad.”

The event

Location: Cradle of Aviation Museum (Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City, NY 11530)

Date: Saturday, Aug. 26 and Sunday, Aug. 27, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Tickets: Adults $15 adults, children 2 to 12 years old $7. Includes admission to the museum between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Free parking. To buy tickets, visit www.cradleofaviation.org.

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