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https://www.discovernikkei.org/en/interviews/clips/1127/

World-Renowned Peruvian Cuisine (Japanese)

(Japanese) The country of Peru was attacked by a Spaniard named Pizarro in 1531. Before that, the pre-Incas, Incas. After that, Spain, Italy. Later, of course, the Chinese, the Japanese…Many different cultures came and assimilated, and now there are many types of cuisine that use just the most delicious elements of each. So these, of course, taste great. For us chefs the most important thing is the ingredients, and those ingredients are right here in front of us. In abundance. All of those interesting cultures are assimilated. There’s no way the cuisine wouldn’t be delicious. You know, until now, people didn’t know what Peruvian cuisine was. But now it’s getting a lot of attention. 

Just recently I came back from Zaragoza, Spain. I’m telling you, the mass media and others…everyone wanted to learn more. It was the same in Barcelona. Every place was packed. So in that way, I think Peruvian cuisine will become better known. Mr. Matsuhisa, too...Fundamentally, of course, he does Japanese cuisine, but he says the first thing he did was actually Latin cuisine. Peruvian cuisine, really. I think that’s his real base. That shows you how interesting Peru’s culinary culture really is.


cooking cuisine food fusion cuisine Peru

Date: April 18, 2007

Location: Lima, Peru

Interviewer: Ann Kaneko

Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

Interviewee Bio

Toshiro Konishi was born on July 11, 1953, the fourth son of a long-established Japanese restaurant owner in Saito City, Miyazaki Prefecture. Having played in the kitchen from around the age of six, at 11-years-old, Konishi began helping out in the kitchen with other chef candidates. Then in 1971, at age 16, he headed to Tokyo and became a chef at the restaurant “Fumi”.

In 1974, he moved to Peru with Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, known in America, Japan, and elsewhere for his Japanese fusion cuisine at his restaurant, “Nobu”. After working at the Japanese restaurant “Matsuei” for ten years, he opened “Toshiro’s” and “Wako” in a Sheraton hotel in Lima. In 2002, he also became manager of “Sushi Bar Toshiro’s” in the San Isidro region.

Aside from running the restaurants, he taught at San Ignacio de Loyola University, participated in culinary festivals around the world, introduced innovative cuisine known as “Peruvian Fusion” (a mix of Japanese and Peruvian cuisines), and received numerous awards. In 2008 he became the first Japanese chef based in Latin America to receive the Japanese government’s Minister's Prize from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. (October 2009)

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