Peruvian Food Festival Chef Promises More Than Ceviche

Diego Sánchez (Photo from Cindy via Noticia Long Island)

The 8th annual SUMAQ Peruvian Food Festival “sumaq” means delicious in the Quechua indigenous language will be held Aug. 25 and 26 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cradle of Aviation Museum, located on Charles Lindbergh Boulevard in Garden City. The festival features live cooking demonstrations by renowned chefs, dance and music performances, handcrafts, entertainment for kids and prizes. Chef Diego Sánchez, who worked his way up at restaurants such as Le Bernardin, Astrid y Gastón, American Cut, Veritas and La Mar, is now being recognized as Chef of the Year 2018 at the SUMAQ Peruvian Food Festival. Below are excerpts from his interview with Noticia Long Island.

“At this event, I would like to introduce you to real Peruvian cuisine, made with Peruvian ingredients; to venture away from cevichelomo and jalea, and look at the regions of Peru: the mountains, the jungle,” said Sánchez.

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“I will be part of the jury to review other types of cooking and participants at the event,” said Sánchez, excited about his role in the festival. For the first time, the event will be recognized by the New York State Assembly as “Peruvian Gastronomy Weekend,” a result of the initiative and work carried out by District 6 Assemblyman Phil Ramos.

The selection of Diego Sánchez as SUMAQ 2018’s Chef of the Year is based on his achievements in the United States.

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“They have welcomed us warmly,” said Sánchez. “Many are saying our food is at the level of French cuisine, and they are right. We have a lot to offer, and that gives us strength to keep doing what we love to do.”

Sánchez recently opened a catering and consulting business.

“My business is called Flavors because flavors are a key component of my success. We cater small weddings, baptisms, bar mitzvahs and gatherings of between 10 and 100 or 200 people,” he said.

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