I grew up in the Netherlands with a Peruvian mother and a Dutch father who taught me the values and standards from both their countries. As my parents lived in various countries, we were lucky to have been brought up with a diversity of food cultures: the Italian, the Mexican, the Venezuelan…However, my heart and roots always stayed with the Peruvian cuisine. The rich cultural and gastronomic heritage of Peru played a significant role in the education of my brothers and me. As I learned later, what was very common to us, was very exotic to my friends. When we were children, you did not hear a lot about Peru in The Netherlands. The only news was about the political situation. Yet Peru was and still is so much more.
I was always very fascinated when my mother prepared traditional Peruvian dishes. So I watched and learned. My fascination actually started as a little girl while sitting on the kitchen counter, watching my mother cook and the vibrant energy of my family around the dinner table. On Saturdays, my abuelos (grandparents) would set off for the beach at the crack of dawn to select the best catch from the fishermen. Afterwards, ceviche and other fish dishes were made for the family who came over for lunch. What recipes were the best and which ingredients were best used caused loud discussions. Loud and lively, yet lovingly. And I always kept my eyes and ears wide open.
My Peruvian family is a mix of mainly Italian immigrants and indigenous people. Like many Peruvians, we are ‘fusion’ and a true representation of the popular fusion kitchens in Peru today.
In 2008, I travelled through Peru for a while. It was a big adventure, and I experienced many new things. The love for my mother’s country grew day by day. The following nine years, I travelled back many times for more inspiration and in 2017 was the turning point...
I started ‘cevicheceviche’ with the aim to promote the Peruvian cuisine by giving workshops, developing recipes and providing culinary consultation. And this year I launched my first cookbook and Peruvian pepper paste. It has been such a wonderful journey so far!
I live with my partner in the Jordaan, Amsterdam. Here, I am very happy to be living my cevicheceviche dream.