(The World’s 50 Best Blog) Following in the footsteps of a line of legendary chefs that includes Heston Blumenthal (2017), Joël Robuchon (2009), Alice Waters (2007) and Paul Bocuse (2005), Peruvian chef Gastón Acurio is this year’s winner of what is perhaps the biggest accolade in the world of gastronomy: the Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award.
After winning the same accolade as part of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2013, Acurio now does the double, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the voters of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. This could be seen as a triumph for Acurio’s unofficial role as Peru’s gastronomic ambassador, having successfully brought the nation’s cuisine to the global stage.
Now aged 50 and with a slew of establishments in his motherland and across Latin America, the most widely respected chef in Peru shares some pearls of wisdom for young cooks embarking on a career behind the burners.
Find out if you were born to cook
“If you’re thinking about becoming a cook, I’d suggest that you try to get to know the life they lead in depth. That despite the lifestyle we cooks live – which goes against the tide of others as we work very late, day and night, at weekends and on bank holidays, living and breathing the kitchen – if none of that bothers you, then you were born to be a cook.
“But, if you feel that this life might take certain emotions away and you want to enjoy friends, family and travel; that the long hours and having to work when others are having fun might affect you, then maybe you should think twice about it. With so many TV shows and so much information online, becoming a cook is very popular these days so it’s possible that a youngster, seduced by cooking, might make the wrong decision. You can be crazy about it or it could end up troubling you. In my case, it relaxes me.”
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