March 5, 2022

Part I Discovering Delectable Peru with Ericka


In part I we will connect to Erica La Madrid, the owner from Delectable Peru Food and Travel. And she's a local, travel guide, food connector and one of the first people to pioneer food and travel in Peru. Come explore and connect with Ericka and learn her story  in this episode. Ericka La Madrid was born in Lima, Peru and moved to US at age of 18.
With studies on International Business administration and Marketing.
She founded Delectable Peru Food Tour that is a unique and interactive tour company exploring the culinary capital of South America – Lima, Peru. Founded in mid-2012, the project started in 2010 when the company’s founder arrived back to her home country only to discover that Peru’s culinary landscape had evolved.

Connect to Ericka:  https://delectableperu.com/

Connect to Voice4Chefs: https://www.voice4chefs.com/


Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/MichaelDugan)

Transcript

Michael Dugan:

In part I we will connect to Erica La Madrid, the owner from Delectable Peru Food and Travel. And she's a local, travel guide, food connector and one of the first people to pioneer food and travel in Peru. Ericka, welcome to the show.

Ericka La Madrid:

Thank you, Michael, thank you so much. I'm very honored to be here. Thank you for joining by. It's my pleasure to be here talking to you. Like I mentioned before this is new for me. Well, besides you know, blue house if we talk about at some point in clubhouse right there we we made that and it's amazing that we are able to communicate even being anywhere in the world and, you know, doing this kind of interactions. So thank you so much for the invite.

Michael Dugan:

It's wonderful to have you. Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself and about your company.

Ericka La Madrid:

Happy to do that. So my name is Erica La Madrid. Peruvians are 100%, Chile a he go through my veins. So I'm passionate about sharing my culture sharing my my history, food. And for every people that traveled to Peru. Always excited for me. It's like myself traveling with them every time like it's people that travel to Peru for the first time. So I'm excited to put together like programs and fabulous food and travel advenrntures for example. So that's when I dedicate my passion and my work for the last 10 years. So my company name is Delectable Peru that mean culinary or food tours and travel but also means delicious Peru so when I give the best experience on the food side on the travel side.

Michael Dugan:

That is so wonderful. I love the idea of what you're doing and there's there's a reason because my wife and I traveled to Peru, we went to the Amazon. And one day she came home from work and she said I'm afraid of snakes, I'm afraid of spiders and I'm afraid of scorpions, and I want to conquer my fear. And I want to go deep into the Amazon and do it and I couldn't believe it. I was in shock. You really want to do this. And she's like, I want to do this. So we had an amazing journey to brew and the really special part of it was that we had a friend and her brother was a school administrator in Peru when we told her that we were going to brew This is Laura. When we told Laura, she said oh wait a minute. And so she got in touch with her brother and he met us and he gave us a tour all over Lima. We went to some ruins. We went to the ocean. We went to some really special places that we would never have experienced. So I just want to give a shout out to Laura and say thank you for connecting us with your brother and thank you to your brother for the amazing tour. And then we went to a ketose and we launched him when a tributary of the Amazon to a Jungle Lodge and stayed. But the whole experience in the city of Lima was absolutely incredible. And I understand that you do food and travel tours in Lima.

Ericka La Madrid:

Exactly my goal and he mentioned some that come very close to me because visiting a country or visiting a place that you never be in just that you mentioned like somebody new a local. So what a great way to know a place then with the local you know close to you thirdly, so that's totally what I do, because I want to give you that side of the story because of course many people go have already planned everything, but they have the chance to meet with somebody with a pro you're somebody local that no I think that's kind of the key. Not just in Peru but everywhere you go, nothing will compare to sit down in a table chair, you know, dish in a local restaurant, maybe Holly the wall type of place and you know sit down in front of the of the local the people that is from that area and sometimes it's hard for tourism when people are getting to a place and kind of meet somebody yes there. So that's kind of like the connection we do you know.

Michael Dugan:

So, what I'm curious about and I think our audience would be curious about is where did all this start to this start? Like what was it like when you were growing up as a child? Were you in Peru when you were growing up?

Ericka La Madrid:

Yes, actually, I grew up I born in Lima in the capital near the Pacific Ocean. I have a mix because my grandparents in my mom, my mom's side are from the, from Cusco from the Inca, you know, part of my other side and my dad's side are from our Arakeepa and other place that has a whole culinary you know, history and variety.

Michael Dugan:

Oh my gosh, I want to go there now.

Ericka La Madrid:

Like a fusion of both of those areas, I will say. So I share so much from them. And the point is, I you know, I grew up in Lima with my grandparents. My grandma it was a big influence for me. She was from Cusco. They have like the soups the quinoa, tasty like pacha mancha that is like a very traditional dish the Ande's is like pecha Lanka is means in Quechua is like honor to the to the earth you know Pacha Mama is mom. So it's Mother Earth, you know food and you do a basically under rocks and then you put it in you need to make a hole in on the land and put the meats over there. So I grew up with that you know with see my grandma waking up in the morning and just her head when I go to cook today. Just thinking about the lunch that is happening for the family for you know large dinner and like that was in her mind getting up early going to the markets doing all that you know, just the purpose to make the whole family happy and in the same with family members came from everywhere. It was like a whole festival. You know, I was like a party in food on the table was for those different kinds of meals. So I think I have that and that kind of always you know it's a my heart is childhood memories with festivities around the table. So I think that's why you know, it's important though for me food is part of my memories are also you know, my happy life with my grandma. So I guess that comes you know, for me and my grandma. Sundays, okay, you pick at each one of your favorites for me. I say it's a ceviche but also it's another one that is called a Idina made chicken and chili and cheese, which I need to send you the recipe. Definitely delicious. Around 19 or 20 I was just done with high school, studying, working in a bank and then doing like, my kind of college for a business administration and you know, a little bit of everything like any tenager. I have the opportunity to travel to the US and that's where I met my travel. We become like a part of my life like in a living abroad living away. After two years being away of my country with the whole like, I get married of course, I have work here and then have my kids. So I have the opportunity to go back to Peru and then bring my kids with me so they can see. I call my roots. That's because you know, visiting a country is different than yours to spend time there with they have the great grandparents, the great grandparents, and they were not able to really spend much time with them. So I say this is a great opportunity. Oh, wow about 2010. So I say okay, let's do it. So we kind of went back you know, in a time where everything was like a whole revolution of peruvian food the economy in Peru was very very good like every all the business what like running, you cannot believe like the whole evolution in general. For me, going back was kind of like wow, this is another Peru that I never saw before like high end restaurants and of course Peru be recognized as like in the top destination to visit. I was like so proud. always proud of where I come from but more than ever, because you know, looking at everyone you know with my eyes open like why? Because all you are from Peru from Machu Picchu from the country three thousand types of potato and it's just kind of make you you know, put your heart right in the top, because just listening to so many. But like I say, we all grew up with grandparents who make us proud of where we come from, but it's a country with so many possibilities and so many hardworking people. So my grandfather was in the military, of course, and that kind of like how proud we are of like a country you know where we come from?

Michael Dugan:

Sure.

Ericka La Madrid:

So anyway, that kind of, you know, give me an opportunity to be a tourist in my own country. So every time I was discovering a place to go to visit a restaurant I was always carrying like, notes,

Michael Dugan:

Okay, so you're taking notes along the way.

Ericka La Madrid:

Exactly. So I still have my my notebook where I put every restaurant, every dish specialty, the name of the Chef all those details that for me, it was just for me, you know just for general information and referrals like friends from the US that come and visit me. Oh, can you recommend like where I can go any these the issuer that beach? Oh, yes, well last week, so I think that become you know, the whole and then they saw me kind of putting together these events and little by little I get to meet this wonderful Chefs. So I was very lucky.

Michael Dugan:

oh my gosh, that is really awesome.

Ericka La Madrid:

So I was like, Oh, wow, and many people before you know the tourism and the whole travel industry moving around a many we're not really clear why I need to take people to restaurants so they were kind of confused like why do you need to take people to a restaurant they can go by themselves.

Michael Dugan:

You have to explain everything.

Ericka La Madrid:

I need this in Peru and people that probably never hear about food tours. Now I think it is more popular for people will exchange like look at me like why you need to take them they can go by themselves and I cannot explain if you go to the museum you need someone else to explain to you why you're going to do in the museum or to visit so. Explain your culture you say what you eat even when they see a fruit and many people is like if you don't tell me how I eat this fruit I will never guess you know that this will be the way to eat it with spoon. Things that you probably as a local you don't think is important but it is when you want to do something special. So I'm very proud to say I'm kind of the one of the pioneers. I don't want to say I'm the first one but probably the first five or so. Let's put it that way. So be humble. Say that style, this kind of experience on the food side so I was like, I see people can go to the markets are gonna need to be too but what about a Japanese Peruvian fusion experience or what about the Amazonian Peruvian experience? So when about like the chocolate worship experience with you know, something that made people want to do in their favor or the preference if they like coffee, okay, let's go and do coffee tasting. Like I say it was an experience that you will never imagine to do it in Peru but it's like okay, let's pull it together and work with the Chefs. Knocking in the doors, you know of the restaurant and say, oh, probably you don't know me but I go number two people to you and I want to make a special you know experience for them when they so they were like they look at me for as little by little they saw me you know constantly doing this and bringing people so I guess that become with like, more than 10 years experience.

Michael Dugan:

You're building that relationship with them. You know, and and I think it honors them when you're bringing people to see them over a few years I would imagine.

Ericka La Madrid:

I think so. They do they see how much I really love you know our country because it's like we would chat with people around Peru, that we are proud to go to tell them like oh, that's what we have. We have like a say I don't know if I mentioned that. 3000 types of Potatoes.

Michael Dugan:

My gosh, no, wow. 3000 Yes. You eat. How many different kinds of potatoes.

Ericka La Madrid:

How was that? Many populars like the ones we use everyday like Papa Amarilla , that is kind of like translating yellow. Potato right? That specific for like these five potatoes that we like to turn around instead of like any, you will say up on Papa Amarilla This is so many that use by different dishes. So we have another dish that is called Causa that is the mashed potato. That is yellow potato and is a layer then you put a kind of two nine and can you put anything in there in the other layer and then you cover with another potato mashed potato layer and then you only got avocado in the tall and boiled egg so very delicious dish.

Michael Dugan:

I've also heard that Peru is kind of a culinary melting pot, and they're different cuisines from around the world, which really fascinated me. And I think I saw that on your site. You know, because it has European influence, African influence Chinese Japanese influence.

Ericka La Madrid:

Yeah, you know why the success like you mentioned of the Peruvian and like the whole, I would call it revolution because it was like that it was like many people were you think about like family that used to go out to eat you know, probably 30 years ago probably not cool with like times. When you decide to go eat outside is going to be for Italian restaurants or something like it's different because Peruvian you have in your house while you're going to go out and eat Peruvian if you're going to meet it at home. These change because they for the importance on the like, international chefs you know, so many people like Gastn Acurio like the Virgilio Martnez Mica so many Chef that if you see the lace of these incredible people being abroad study and doing like a lot of work you know making bro like what it is now important for culinary work. I feel like they really see like the value in our in our scene in our food. So the thing is like they come back and say this we have like, this is a treasure like we need to put it in the restaurants and put like in the way people will really you know, go and eat it our dishes in a way early, some in a fancy way. But the other ones like you know, everybody have their own flavors. We're very traditional with the recipes but I want to say the flavors that make the whole dish you know, like make you think oh wow, this is amazing. This is great. Find somewhere else. So and that's how you know you can find many dishes like all over probably the world but in Peru you have that flavor that results of the whole the fusion of cultures, the history. The whole pre Inca or Inca in the whole is like every dish tell you story that's what it's apparently is repetitive but that's how it is.

Michael Dugan:

I like that every dish tells a story

Ericka La Madrid:

Exactly because these days you will say okay, this is me with this potato with this kind of potato why? And then come the one of the farmers because I know the thing when I brought it up we're going all over the but I have experienced to go to places like a culture that has kind of like south of Lima in the center of Peru. And I kind of have these experience that kind of talk with the people that do the hard work of picking up like the potatoes and it's like the whole farmers that kind of trying to explain to you this is not an easy work and this is like we are proud. We have 3000 but also see that probably you go to market and you pay. I will say not enough for all the work they do. And it was amazing. To kind of share that experience. I went a couple of times there where they will carry these big bags, you know potatoes and put it in the bag and bring all the way down to the mountain and put it in the car. And let me tell you it's hard work that you like when you eat and just think about it. Make you feel more than proud that is the nation's like this is not easy. You know? You should be very proud not just for the food but for the people that work for that this will I'm very lucky that I have the opportunity to meet these farmers, you know people that is related because I will say you know I'm very happy that I met the chefs. I see the work they do with the farmers with agriculture people that people that we connect, connect directly. It's not like a third party. They go and sell it directly to them. So that made me happy to say you know, there's they're doing a fabulous job. And if you go for example to the San Pedro there is like I say a very famous chef there but it's not just just a famous chef because you can tell like okay, Jose Adres is a famous chef, I don't have a close relationship with Him. I know hard work and everything. But you see their work like the sun if you go to the social media, the first thing he's gonna put is somebody else work like okay, woman in the market is offering the fruits is actually more Yeah, or like potatoes or like they put him out there. Not their own promotion, but the promotion of the markets or the woman that is offering their product and make me feel like you know, they're not thinking about themselves. They're thinking helping others.

Michael Dugan:

Right and you know, it's it's interesting most the chefs that come on the show, they're all about helping others. I don't know how I get so lucky to meet people that really help others, just about every one of them. There's something about that giving back and you have that too. You know, and I just think that it's so important especially right now with the pandemic and with these really tough times for everybody. We pull together. And that seems to be a common thing I've seen in the industry, which to me is is really amazing. So before we move on, tell me a couple of your favorite chefs and go slow because some people that are listening, they might try to google their names and research them.

Ericka La Madrid:

Exactly. Thank you for that question. Like I said, I have I'm very lucky and I feel blessed to have that opportunity to meet them probably before they even were very famous. I probably read nothing more. So I can just pick up the phone and say, Oh, you have this trouble is I have this group. Can you please just accommodate or something like that I know that unreasonable right now probably. So I will say let's start with it. That females you know, because I mentioned many of the famous ones that probably they don't know they don't care if I mentioned them or not because they already they're in the top of list.

Michael Dugan:

people that aren't famous.

Ericka La Madrid:

And the one guy I'm not famous and they probably you know are very humble and they don't even mentioned there they enjoy probably they don't have the opportunity to be in the spotlight are sometimes the female because like you do know many famous chef, no more males, because it's like the popularity of them.

Michael Dugan:

I think that there's a lot of female chefs that are out there. I've actually interviewed several Sabrina Tinsley is an executive chef in Seattle, and she competed in Iron Chef food channel, Bobby Flay. And she's an amazing woman. Oh my gosh, she's she's really incredible. So see, she's one of my heroes.

Ericka La Madrid:

Oh my God, that's awesome. I'm glad to see that in the female side. For example, I see I don't know probably is just in South America and I don't want to generalize is just from my personal opinion, I I wouldn't see more. So let's mention is mentioned as one of the most for me, like is Maria Zuiga for example, Maria Zuiga is, a woman that just cook with her heart by also kind of transfer the whole knowledge of what is Peruvian cusine the traditional one, you know, like the tamales like the like the most traditional dishes. Her knowledge with the students and like resources like the people that want to go to school, for example, but they don't have like the the way to do it. So I know a group of Chefs that are one in particular that is just on that really like I say, he's very humble that he doesn't like to be mentioned sometimes. So I don't know I should call better Cooking School Center. The there is a center with a have like his students, like I mentioned before, they'll be like, you know, a Cordon Bleu, like the name of the fancy school that they can study culinary arts or something like that, but they have the opportunity to go to this place and study to be a chef, or to be a part of the restaurant. So for that, I feel like wow, I admire that just for that. I mean for many things. I admire their work. But there you see all these elements like the woman that is part of this kind of center of knowledge about culinary and traditional food. Then the other one that I consider very close friend is is her name is Martha Palacios, for example. Another female chef there is very famous not not just because in the sign of the spotlights, like I say, but yes, all the food that is cooking in the restaurant. Oh my god is like Yes. Hands down. Cooking Everything that coastal has like I don't even know where to start. You know, it's like so many dishes that come into my mind. Then, well, let's go with other like I say probably I don't have like enough time to mention No. I know they have Yes. I know. It's like many Michilen Star in the 50 best restaurants and I feel like that's important for like, make people know that it's restaurants working hard. And sometimes I will agree that it's important to have at least sometimes there's like probably these people that don't have the opportunity to be in the list and go with a small you know,

Ericka La Madrid Profile Photo

Ericka La Madrid

Delectable Peru by Ericka La Madrid

Ericka La Madrid was born in Lima, Peru and moved to US at age of 18.
With studies on International Business administration and Marketing.
She founded Delectable Peru Food Tour that is a unique and interactive tour company exploring the culinary capital of South America – Lima, Peru. Founded in mid-2012, the project started in 2010 when the company’s founder arrived back to her home country only to discover that Peru’s culinary landscape had evolved.

What she found was new and surprising changes taking place in Lima. As she began to identify each place specialty, she realized that knowing where to eat, what to eat, and from which chef, made the experience even more extraordinary.

Peru is in a revolutionary period for culinary advances, and the quality of its cuisine has matured to compete globally, offering both traditional and cutting-edge dining experiences. Now, a growing crop of new and exciting chefs and restaurateurs has joined the ranks of the internationally recognized restaurants. Much of Peru’s cuisine that had only been served in the confines of the home is now being offered in all of its rich variety. The fusion of culinary traditions from indigenous Peru and Europe has been joined with influences from African, Chinese and Japanese immigrants making for a wonderful blend of tastes and textures. This, coupled with the diversity of fresh seafood, meats, fruits and vegetables from the coastal, highlands and Amazonian areas of Peru has all lead to a culinary renaissance.
She continues her work promoting her country and talking about it with pride.