Peru on a plate
Chiang Mai’s Lanna cuisine might be what visitors to the northern Thai city expect and love, but the flavours from the far corners of the world have also arrived. At the Mae Ping River-fronting Anantara Chiang Mai Resort’s The Restaurant, the recently-landed Peruvian chef de cuisine Fernando Soeda is presenting his take on the fusion tastes of his homeland. Known as Nikkei cuisine, this blend of Peruvian and Japanese cooking styles came by way of migration. This occurred back in 1889 when approximately 7,000 Japanese labourers and miners set off for Peru. Back then, the idea of Japanese food cooked with Peruvian ingredients was as much one of necessity as it was of invention.
Nikkei cuisine with its liberal use of spicy chillies and seafood has evolved from its utilitarian-based approach to a palate-revolutionising world influence. Chef Soeda’s tasting menu at The Restaurant, makes notes of this. He capitalises on Chiang Mai’s delicious local produce, blending with condiments such as miso and special hard-to-source ingredients.
A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris in Ottawa, Chef Soeda since his arrival in Thailand, has served up staples loved in his homeland like the snowfish sudado cooked in miso soup. The fish stew, popular in northern Peru, is brought to boil in Panka chilli and miso paste. For authenticity, Chef Soeda personally sources the dish’s key ingredient — Panka chilli, made from Peruvian red pepper, from his homeland regularly.
Chiang Mai’s exciting organic food scene and easy access to bio-sustainable produce are clear indications that we should expect good things from The Restaurant’s new chef.