"I have been dreaming for years of opening a Peruvian food restaurant, but it needed to be authentic with the flavors and ingredients of my Peru. Life decided to take other turns and my dreams of opening the restaurant was conceived with my daughter. I lost my daughter and the sadness was so severe that the plans stopped," she said.
"When I felt emotionally strong and capable, my son, husband and I decided once again to take another chance at this dream I had. But then came more complications. We opened on July 25 during the pandemic. The restaurant was supposed to originally open in April 2020 and then everything shut down."
Tastes of Peru
Peruvian gastronomy is one of the most varied in the world with at least 357 soups in their recipe books and their regional flavors are varied. Peruvians’ recipes reach up to 491 typical dishes and all determined by the region. Their cuisine consists of mountainous, coastal and rainforest cuisine.
Peruvian gastronomy has been the meeting point of various cultures, thanks to the inclination for miscegenation that has characterized the history of Peru. Rice is a food that accompanies many dishes, popularized mainly from the 19th century with the influence of Chinese-Cantonese immigration and it became a key ingredient that goes beyond a simple garnish, since there are many dishes made from rice.
"We cook in the wok, which is very typical nowadays in the cuisine of Peru. El Lomo Saltado, Tallarín Saltado, Noodles a la Huancaína, Green Noodles, Arroz Chaufa — all those dishes we make in the wok," Muñoz said.
"It gives a delicious taste to the food. The soy sauce we use in our kitchen is the soy of Peru, which is a very different flavor to common soy sauce. We have about three thousand varieties of potatoes, and our potatoes are unlike anything you have tasted and that is because of the Peruvian soil. They come in so many shapes and colors. Peru happens to be the birthplace of the great potato and corn."
The Chifa tradition is a culinary tradition based on Chinese-Cantonese elements fused with traditional Peruvian ingredients and traditions. Although it originates in Peru, the Chifa tradition has spread to neighboring countries such as Ecuador, Chile and Bolivia. Chinese immigrants arrived in Peru mainly in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They settled mostly on the coast of Peru and the capital of Lima.
"My son, Ricky De La Torre, is our head chef and is traditionally trained, and his food is amazing. I'm proud of the flavors he is creating for our local customers," Muñoz said.
"Of course, we serve the Peruvian ceviche, which is the national dish of Peru: fresh fish cooked in lemon juice and salt. Red onions, coriander, garlic and other Peruvian ingredients are added. It is one of our specialties and it is very delicious. We also modify the level of pique if you wish. Another immensely popular dish is the 'Papa ala Huancaína,' which are slices of Peruvian potato served under a bed of a cream made of Peruvian yellow pepper and cheese sauce."
If you enjoy complex and aromatic flavors and a healthy dose of spices, the Peruvian Restaurant, La Casita, is your destination to enjoy delicious and authentic Peruvian cuisine.
This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: La Casita Peruvian Restaurant brings a Latin fusion to Richmond Hill