Gastón Acurio, chef, writer, entrepreneur and one of the most important promoters of Peruvian gastronomy in the world, started his culinary career in 1989 when he dropped out of the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, where he studied Law-trying to fulfill his family's expectations-and enrolled instead into the Escuela de Hostelería de Madrid.
After two years of living and studying in Madrid, he travels to Paris, where he starts his degree at Le Cordon Bleu and meets Astrid Gutsche, who would then become his wife. In 1994, a year after returning to his homeland, Lima opens his first restaurant: Astrid&Gastón.
Astrid&Gastón starts its history branded by the teachings that the culinary couple had received; the menu consisted mainly of classic French cuisine dishes. As time went by they started experimenting with Peruvian preparations and ingredients, and therefore, little by little, they started a new type of cuisine. The years keep passing and horizons expanded. They opened Astrid&Gastón franchises in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Spain. Then, created and later expanded brands like La Mar, Tanta, Panchita, Chicha, Madam Tusan, Bachiche, and Papacho’s. The couple obtained a prestigious acknowledgment when Astrid&Gastón got included in the first twenty spots on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants for three consecutive years, and second and fifteenth places for Astrid&Gastón and La Mar, respectively, in the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. These accomplishments consolidate Acurio as a successful restauranteur, with a presence in 11 countries around the world, with 9 different brands and over 45 restaurants.
Acurio has also published several different books, such as “Peru, Una Aventura Culinaria”, “Larousse de la Gastronomía Peruana”, “500 Años de Fusión” elected the best cookbook in gastronomy by the Gourmand World Cookbook in 2008; “Cebiche Power”, “Edén.pe: 21 revelaciones para el mundo”, written in collaboration with Ignacio Medina and Ferran Adrià, and “Peru: The Cookbook”.
Simultaneously, in 2007, Acurio took interest in the educational field, founding the first school for cooks and servers directed to low-income youths in Pachacutec, Ventanilla, Callao. Besides, on the same year, creates APEGA, the Peruvian Gastronomy Society, with which a year later he would organize the first International Gastronomic Fair of Lima, what is now known as Mistura, one of the most popular and most visited in South America.
On the other hand, Gastón Acurio has directed and hosted for over ten years a cable television show called “Aventura Culinaria”, he has also had the starring role in the shows “Cebiche con Sentimiento” and “En Busca del Cebiche Perfecto”, as well as in the documentaries “Peru Sabe". La cocina, arma social.”, and “Buscando a Gastón".
Throughout his career Acurio has been the receiver of diverse honors, amongst them, he was named entrepreneur of the year by the magazine América Económica in 2005, he also obtained the Prince Claus of Holland Award in the category "Collective memoirs and journalism" and was named a goodwill ambassador for Unicef in 2009. In the year 2013, he was presented with the World Gastronomy Award in Sweden, given to him for his work promoting sustainable gastronomy, the use of local native ingredients, and for his Pachacutec School. A year later he received homage in his Alma Mater, Le Cordon Bleu Paris. in 2018, he received The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award. Nowadays, Acurio divides his time between the supervision of his several restaurants, the creation of new brands, traveling around the world promoting Peruvian cuisine, and in the creation of a Culinary University in a joint effort with the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru.