GASTÓN ACURIO – PARTNER AND CHEF, LA MAR BY GASTÓN ACURIO
Gastón Acurio is a chef, writer, businessman and promoter of Peruvian culinary arts. In 2005, he was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by America Economía magazine – the most influential business magazine in South America. With 40 restaurants in 12 countries and one chocolate shop, the Acurio Organization is leading the Peruvian culinary revolution.
During the late 1980s, Acurio attended law school. However, his passion for food was stronger, so he left law school to begin studying culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
During his time in Paris, Acurio met his German-born wife Astrid. In 1994, they opened the restaurant Astrid&Gastón in Lima, Peru, establishing one of the first restaurants of Peruvian haute cuisine in the world. Initially very French-oriented due to the couple’s classical French training, Gastón soon found himself experimenting with Peruvian ingredients and taking inspiration from local traditions. In 2014, Astrid&Gastón was included at number 18 in the World's 50 Best Restaurants list.
In 2013, Acurio was the recipient of The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the organizers of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list. He was selected to receive the prestigious award in a vote by 250 industry experts from across the region. The honor recognizes Acurio’s fundamental contribution to Peru's culinary industry and national identity.
As an author, Acurio has published 20 national bestsellers in Peru. His latest publication “500 Años de Fusión” (500 Years of Fusion) was considered the best cookbook worldwide at the 2008 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. Additionally, in 2009 Acurio received the “Prince Claus of Holland” international award in the "Collective Memories and Journalism" category for his significant contribution in the field of culture and development.
Acurio is the primary supporter of the culinary instruction institution, Pachacutec School of Cuisine, located in one of the poorest areas in Lima. The school provides underprivileged young people with a facility to study under industry-leading instructors.