I met the head chef at Taranta, a wonderful Peruvian restaurant in Boston’s North End and he had lots of suggestions for our upcoming trip to Peru, in part because he leads what looks like fantastic food tour of Peru. (for more info see: http://www.tarantarist.com/adventures/)
At his restaurant I had some Cusqueña beer (brewed near Cusco, I believe) which was excellent.
These are the restaurants he recommended (and I’ve made reservations at several!)
– In Arequipa, we need to try these dishes: Rocoto Pelleno (stuffed red peppers made with a fiery hot pepper called rocoto – not the bland red bell pepper) and Chupe de Camarones (Shrimp and Potato Chowder.)
– In Cusco, he said we’ll receive coca leaves when we arrive on the plane and should use them right away to try to avoid altitude sickness. It’s a big no-no to spit out the leaf onto the ground but okay to spit it out discretely into your hand.
– In Urubamba in the Sacred Vally, at El Huacatay restaurant he said we should say hi to the chef Pio who is his friend.
– He recommended the north of Peru including Trujillo area.
– A good day trip from Lima: the temple of Pachacamac, an archaeological site 40 km southeast of Lima, Peru in the Valley of the Lurín River. Wikipedia reports that most of the common buildings and temples were built c. 800-1450 CE, shortly before the arrival and conquest by the Inca Empire.
– For info on Inca terracing (a farming method) he suggested looking up a National Geographic on the topic. The technology is called Borai (?)
– He also recommended a Peruvian restaurant in London – Lima London!