Peruvian Chef Emmanuel Piqueras Debuts First Rotisserie & Cevicheria in So Cal
Peruvian celebrity chef, Emmanuel Piqueras, and San Diego-based restaurateur, Sami Ladeki announced the opening of Pisco Rotisserie & Cevicheria in Point Loma’s historic Liberty Station neighborhood at 2401 Truxtun Rd #102.
With its distinct, worldly flavors, Peru has risen to popularity as the gastronomic capital of the globe. A cuisine comprised of a unique marriage of expat influences drawing heavily from its Chinese, Japanese and Italian inhabitants, a resurgence in this Novoandina-style of cooking has emerged—a modern take on indigenous food preparation utilized by many of the world’s top restaurants.
A concept formerly foreign to the San Diego dining landscape, Chef Piqueras’ highly anticipated, 5,000 square-foot indoor-outdoor eatery boasts a menu influenced by Peru’s indigenous agriculture, ingredients, and ancient cooking techniques alongside San Diego’s largest selection of Pisco cocktails.
The launch of Pisco Rotisserie & Cevicheria serves as a West Coast welcome for Executive Chef/Partner Emmanuel Piqueras, who hails most recently from New York City as the host and coproducer of Sabor y Fusion, a popular Peruvian cooking show on Latin America’s largest international cable network. Born in Lima to a prominent Peruvian family—his mother was Lima’s first elected female mayor—Piqueras began his professional career in 1994 at the young age of 22 working with influential chef Don Cucho La Rosa at his Lima Restaurant, Pantagruel.
Upon graduating from Lima’s Le Cordon Bleu in 1999, Piqueras moved to Spain to train alongside one of the great masters of New Basque cuisine, Chef Juan Mari Arzak, at his San Sebastian culinary mecca, Arzak (Michelin Guide Three Stars; World’s 50 Best Restaurants). In 2003, Piqueras began traveling the U.S. by way of Peruvian cuisine, where he would go on to lead the kitchens as Executive Chef of Andina (Portland, OR), Mixtura (Seattle, WA), Limon (San Francisco, CA), and Panca (New York City, NY) among others.
As Peru’s culinary ambassador to the United States and Canada through Promperú, Piqueras has had the honor of cooking for several celebrities and dignitaries, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the First Lady of Peru as well as the Queen of Spain.
Drawing from Peru's oldest culinary traditions to create both contemporary and traditional dishes, Chef Piqueras is helping to spark a new interest in Peruvian cuisine in San Diego. At Pisco, Piqueras sources ingredients directly from Peru as well as local purveyors to introduce a menu of shareable plates and entrees in harmony with the undisputed soul of Peruvian cuisine: fresh ceviche and pollo a la brasa (aka. rotisserie chicken). In the spirit of Japanese sashimi, Peruvian ceviche is made to order, combining the freshest of catch in a citrus-based flash marinade known as leche de tigre, “milk of the tiger.”
Pisco’s ceviche bar features selections that include salmon, bay scallop, shrimp, calamari, octopus, ahi tuna and a daily fresh catch served in a variety of distinct marinades ranging from Chef Piqueras’ Southern California-style twist (avocado-jalapeño emulsion, choclo, cancha and camote) to classic preparations with red onion and cilantro or rocoto (one of Peru’s 300 varieties of chili peppers). Pisco’s menu of Peruvian rotisserie chicken is marinated for 24 hours in a secret, gluten-free spice mix and served with a mesa sauce, chimichurri and aji amarillo mustard. Guests have the option to order a quarter, half or whole chicken—all of which come with a choice of two sides.
Alongside nine larger entrees such as Braised Lamb Shoulder with kale and sweet potato and the Plancha Marina—consisting of salmon, octopus, and seasonal vegetables with chimichurri and spicy nikei sauce—adventurous foodies may explore the Lengua, grilled beef tongue served with carrots, peas, choclo, yucca, and huacatay broth. Two of Chef Piqueras’ personal favorites include the Martini de Tigre, a Peruvian-style ceviche of calamari, shrimp, fish, bay scallops and octopus in a creamy aji Amarillo leche de tigre, as well as the Grilled Octopus with chimichurri potato and piquillo pepper.
Pisco is a destination for the beverage experience in itself, proudly offering San Diego’s largest selection of Pisco-driven cocktails. Paying tribute to the Peruvian-distilled brandy, dinner items are best enjoyed when accompanied by one of the restaurant’s many ‘Classicos’, ‘Nuevos’, ‘Chilcanos’ or ‘Macerados,’—all utilizing the distinct spirit familiar to that region of South America. Imbibers thirsty for a classic can order a Pisco Sour from the ‘Classico’ menu, or experiment with a Machu Peachu off the ‘Nuevos’ menu made with rosemary-infused La Caravedo Pisco Quebranta, peach liqueur, fresh lime juice, and white cranberry peach juice. Peruvian ‘Chilcanos’ (cocktails made with Pisco and ginger ale) can be made with one of one of six ‘Macerados’ (Piscos traditionally infused with fruit, herbs and spices for several weeks). A large selection of South American wines and beers is offered as well