Celebrity chef Alejandro Saravia has brought Peruvian cuisine to his new restaurant Morena in Sydney’s Surry Hills. Summer is the perfect time to try fresh Latin American flavours, so get inspired by his vibrant dinner party menu!
1. Your new restaurant Morena focuses on Peruvian and Latin American cuisine. What are some of your favourite dishes and ingredients?
It’s been a great journey on the road to opening Morena and it’s given me the chance to work on some of my favourite dishes from Peru, but using locally sourced meat and fish.
In Peru we eat a lot of alpaca meat and I started to work with alpaca meat in Australia a couple of years ago. I have learnt so much working directly with the farmers and experimenting with the meat curing, stewing, braising, grilling and using different techniques to get the best out of each cut of meat.
We also love our fresh fish and Peruvian style pink snapper ceviche is a great dish – really light but so fresh and full of flavour that it reminds me of home!
2. What are you looking forward to cooking this spring and summer?
I am looking forward to the start of summer to work with all the amazing seafood and fish varieties that Australia has to offer and combining all this with fresh Peruvian ajis (chillies) from our farm in Queensland and our interpretation of flavours and traditions. This summer will be all about ceviches at Morena!
3. What’s one dish every home cook should master?
I think that the best dish to start would be a classic home stew. It takes time but is not very difficult and gives a lot of satisfaction.
4. What do you like to cook at home?
My wife and I love to do “piqueos” at home (small bites of a selection of different dishes – the Latin American tapas) and cheese and bread are always available.
5. What’s an easy summer Latin American-inspired dinner party menu?
Definitely you have to start with a fresh Pisco sour, to get everyone into party mood! Then to nibble on do some freshly grilled prawns marinated in a mix of roasted axis (chillies), a fresh causa de cangrejo (mashed potato base terrine with crab meat, avocado and home made lemon mayonnaise), a ceviche mixto (mixed seafood ceviche) and for a sweet end a nice arroz con leche (South American style rice pudding – sounds heavy but it’s not at all!) or our amazing tres leeches sponge cake with pineapple ice-cream.
What are your favourite Latin American dishes?