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Chef's Notebook: A sneak peek at Ricardo Zarate's Paiche

February 20, 2013|By Betty Hallock
  • Ricardo Zarate's sketch of a planned dish at his soon-to-open restaurant Paiche.
Ricardo Zarate's sketch of a planned dish at his soon-to-open restaurant… (Courtesy of Ricardo Zarate )

Ricardo Zarate, the chef behind Peruvian restaurants Picca and Mo-Chica, will soon open Paiche (named for a giant Amazon river fish) in Marina del Rey. It's still under construction, but Zarate is now working on the menu, sketching dishes for his "Peruvian izakaya" in his notebook.

Dishes start as drawings that include everything from a description of the tableware ("round plate" or maybe "short bowl") to placement of the micro cilantro flowers in a wild mushroom quinoa salad with rainbow quinoa, mushrooms, huacatay sponge cake and aerated mushroom sauce. A note written at the bottom of this particular dish says: "Quinoa we could try to dress with feta dressing to give moist [sic] lets try!!!"

Other dishes in the works: crispy fish bun with halibut, cabbage salad, avocado and jalapeno aioli;  wagyu black truffle tiradito with seared wagyu beef, Parmesan sauce, aji amarillo vinaigrette and black truffles; and kampachi tiradito with rocoto oil and yuzu garlic dressing served on a block of Himalyan salt -- this one sketched with a note that says, "yuzu garlic dressing I would like to come with a slightly creamy base dressing almost broken with oil like a split cream dressing good luck to me!!!"

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