Maty's, Mauka, Ramps, NYC’s 100 Best Restos & more
Culinary news and notes for the month of April.
A once per month-ish round-up of culinary news from around the Americas, and beyond. If you have any tips about restaurant or hotel openings, new culinary books, food media worth reading, plus events and happenings of every sort, drop me a line email@example.com.
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Maty’s - Miami, Florida: Valerie “Chifita” Chang of Itamae’s Chang family fame has opened a new Peruvian restaurant in Midtown Miami. The ambitious 150-seat space is already one of the most difficult tables to get in Miami right now. The menu pays tribute to her roots in the coastal city of Chiclayo in northern Peru and is unlike anything else being done with Peruvian food in the U.S. right now (seasonal pickles! Chita asada with ají amarillo beurre blanc! Sudado de almejas!). I stopped in a couple of months ago when they were still setting up and there’s no restaurant I want to eat at more right now. Listen to our interview with Valerie here.
Mauka – Cuzco, Peru: Kjolle and Central’s Pía León has opened Mauka, a new restaurant in Cuzco at the Belmond Plaza Nazarenas Hotel named after a nearly forgotten Andean tuber. While the Mater Iniciativa group runs Mil at Moray in the mountains well outside of the city, their precense has been lacking since there since Senzo closed in the same hotel many years ago. This is the biggest new opening in Cuzco in many years.
Isolina Surco – Lima, Peru: José del Castillo’s perpetually packed criolla tavern Isolina, which started in Barranco in 2015 (read my New York Times story from then), has opened a second location in the Surco neighborhood.
Le Clac – Guatemala City, Guatemala: Natural wine importers Le Clac have opened a brick and mortar bar in the looby of the OEG building in Zona 4.
FYR – Columbus, Ohio: Argentine chef Sebastián La Rocca, who I knew from his days in Costa Rica with the restaurant Botaniko, opened a Pan-Latin wood fire restaurant in the Short North. I was there a couple of weeks ago and it’s great. I’m going to be chatting with La Rocca about his move to the States on the podcast soon.
Casa Susanna – Catskills, New York: Since the pandemic, the entire area within a few hours north of New York City has seen so many interesting restsurant and bar openings it is hard to keep up. The most recent is Casa Susanna, attached to a 50-room hotel with log cabins called Camptown. It’s a modern Mexican restsurant influenced by chef Efrén Hernández's roots in Jalisco, using seasonal ingredients from Hudson Valley Farms.
Elsewhere in Food Media
I’ve been a contributor to the magazine Saveur for many years. It’s been one of the most reliable culinary publications for well researched and culturally relevent food stories and one of the few that has not wavered from its focus, despite many attempts to downsize it. In a promising development, the great editor Kat Craddock has purchased the publication herself!
The demand for Chartreuse is growing, yet the monks that make it don’t want to increase production, leading to shortages via The New York Times.
Archeologists have discovered garum and olive oil in ancient India and a stone Buddha in Egypt, leading them to believe that trade with the Roman Empire was much more widespread than previously thought via The New York Review.
For the first time, dining critic Pete Wells of The New York Times has named his Top 100 Restaurants in New York City. In a surprise, the still rather new restaurant Tatiana from Kwame Onwuachi, made the number #1 spot, followed by Atomix and Le Bernadin. In terms of Latin American food, there is a decent selection that made the cut, including a good amount of street food. La Piraña Lechonera is ranked #5, Birria-Landia #18, Empellon is #19, Estela #21, Tacos El Borrego #30, the Corona Plaza street vendors #48, 188 Bakery Cuchifritos #65, Llama Inn #70, Mariscos El Submarino #71, Contento #82, Taqueria Ramírez #86 and Caleta 111 #99.
Six new criolla grape varieties have been discovered inthe desert of Caravelí in the Arequipa region of southern Peru by researcher Keith Díaz, via Decanter. Previoulsy, only quebranta, was though to be Peru’s only unique grape variety. You can read more in my recent story, The Awakening of Peruvian Wine, here.
Ramp (Allium tricoccum) season is upon us. The spring vegetable appears for less than a month each year across the Eastern United States and Canada. In Europe, as well as Asia, you can find a similar variation, Allium ursinum, often called ramsons. They are usually called wild leeks or wild onions, though the flavor is more garlicky than anything. In some areas they have become endangered by overharvesting, so cooks are encouraged to just buy the leaves, not with the bulbs attached unless you can ensure they are being sustainably harvested. I’ve found a few new patches this year and have been transplanting some ramps to my own property, where there was already a very small patch. My goal is to expand it enough that there is more than I need each year.
Low Food Symposium – Amsterdam, Netherlands: On May 15, the 4th Low Food Symposium will take place in the Rijksmuseum. Some speakers this year include Chris Ying, Angela Dimayuga and Fatmata Binta. They’ll also be discussing about transparency in sustainabiklity with restaurants and the project the foundation is working on with Deloitte to actually create data around the concept. Hear Low Food founder Joris Bijdendijk discuss it on the latest episode of the podcast.
New Book Recommendations
Manu: Recipes and Stories From My Brazil – Manu Buffara
Ikoyi – Jeremy Chan
Asada: The Art of Mexican-Style Grilling – Bricia Lopez With Javier Cabral
Predatory Economies: The Sanema and the Socialist State in Contemporary Amazonia – by Amy Penfield
Sweet Enough: A Deesert Cookbook – Alison Roman
The North African Cookbook – Jeff Koehler
Recent Stories at New Worlder
Other Worthy Substack Reads
Cocaine & Cooking at Chez Panisse -
Wine Media Is Broken: A Case Study –
Introducing Future Food with Analisa Winther –
Is Substack the New TikTok for Cookbook Deals? –
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