A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of cooking in my kitchen with a Peruvian chef flown in by my good friend Maria Elena. Maria, a Peruvian expat herself, brought Chef Martin Gallo to New York to prepare an authentic dinner party in the Hamptons. Later in the week, she asked if I’d like to host a Peruvian luncheon at my apartment in the city. This Spring, I fell in love with Peruvian cuisine during my vacation to South America.  Of course I had to accept! We decided to take a video of the event, so check it out:

[youtube_sc url=””]

The first course was traditional “Shrimp Bisque,” as he called it for us Americans. By starting with a homemade shrimp stock, Chef Gallo established an intense flavor base for the rest of the soup. Due to the nature of Peruvian cooking (so many ingredients, so much intuition!) there is no way I can give you the recipe. However, I can tell you that he used no less than 3 types of Peruvian peppers (that he brought with him!). The hearty bisque was full of rice, potatoes, vegetables, and finally was topped with a poached egg and shrimp.

We thought we had died and gone to heaven when we tasted the final product. The richness of the bisque was perfectly offset by mild pepperiness and deep shrimp flavor. The egg on top was a luscious addition that truly took the dish over the top.

I can’t thank Maria enough for bringing Chef Gallo into my home! We had so much fun in the kitchen together!

P.S. No one saw me take that sip of that Pisco Sour while on my detox, right?!