Winners Are Announced at "Ceviche Vs. Tiradito," New York’s First Ever Peruvian Fish Dish Battle Hosted By The Trade Commission of Peru In New York

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Peruvian food is on the rise and New Yorkers vote for their favorite Ceviches and Tiraditos, the country's signature dishes

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There's nothing fishy about the fact that a culinary tradition trumped innovation as the Shrimp and Artichoke Ceviche from Runa (110 Monmouth Street, Red Bank, NJ) swept the competition winning best ceviche and best overall dish and the hearts and taste buds of New Yorkers attending the big culinary battle #CevicheVsTiradito- Who Rules?, which was hosted by the Trade Commission of Peru in New York on October 7th at the Humphrey (Eventi Hotel, NYC). The winning tiradito, a menu item which is unfamiliar to many, didn’t slack off. Traditional Peruvian flavors and new culinary styles blended seamlessly in a Lenguado Tiradito from Coco Roco (392 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY) and excited attendees who were introduced to and falling in love with this type of fish dish; many for the first time.

Ceviche Vs. Tiradito was diners’ first opportunity to vote in a competition and while they were big fans of the judges’ selections, the people gave Raymi (43 West 24th Street, NYC) a nod; enabling that restaurant’s entries of Charred Octopus Ceviche and Chifa Tiradito (featuring sockeye salmon) take home both People’s Choice Awards. Conrado Falco, Director of the Trade Commission of Peru in New York explains, "Peruvians have been eating ceviche for centuries now, but some decades ago a new style of raw fish dishes emerged and has been actively competing with ceviche. It was not that one has eliminated the other, but now you have more reasons to frequently visit Peruvian Cevicherías."

This is especially true when there’s a whole world of delicious preparations out there like:
-YELLOWFIN TUNA TIRADITO with truffle shishito glaze, crispy potato and pickled jalapeño (DESNUDA 122 E. 7th Street, NYC)
-CEVICHE MIXTO & TRIO TIRADITO with Crispy Quinoa (LA CEVICHERIA Beach 97th & Rockaway Beach, NY)
-LA GRAN MANZANA Scallop Tiradito with a clementine and rocoto ‘leche de tigre’, garnished with pomegranate seeds & diced apples (MANKA 216 Glen Street, Glen Cove, NY)
-CORVINA TIRADITO with Rocoto Cream Sauce (RUNA)
-CRISPY OYSTERS, SPICY TUNA CEVICHE, with avocado and tobiko, SEARED SALMON TIRADITO, huacatay “leche de tigre”, cucumber chalaquita (SURFISH BISTRO 351 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY)

The cuisine's versatility and appeal was noted by Chef Marita Lynn of Runa who says, "The event was full of people who were extremely curious and asked a lot of questions about our ceviche and tiradito. When I first came to the country people were afraid to eat rare fish but now more and more people are excited to try ceviche. I think #CevicheVsTiradito brought a lot more presence and attention to Peruvian cuisine."

The judges agree. Chef Carmen Gonzalez notes, "I was thrilled with how well organized and fun the event was and impressed by the execution and display of all the food. I loved the balance of creativity, ingredients, flavors and presentation of both Runa and Coco Roco in particular as both chefs, and their restaurant teams, illustrated why Peru is on the top of food scene in Latin America."

Fellow judge Fernando Bravo adds, "As a Peruvian it is rewarding and exciting to see so many great Peruvian restaurants in the city, and see how New Yorkers are increasingly fonder of Peruvian food!"

Chef Felipe Torres of Raymi noticed a number of American diners and restaurant industry folks enjoying Raymi's winning dishes, one of which embraced the flavor profiles of the traditional Chifa style cooking that is popular in Peru. He says, "At Raymi we make an emphasis on modern, using Peruvian products and taking it from start to finish so that you have a really nice finished product. That’s why we decided to use the wild sockeye. It’s what they use in sashimi and high end sushi restaurants."

While Raymi took a modern approach that respected traditional Peruvian ingredients, flavors and cooking methods Coco Roco's win was predicated on sticking to a beloved classic. Their passion for tradition paid off. Martin Tisoc, who, with his brother Chef Fernando, owns Coco Roco, comments, "We wanted the people to know how they eat in Peru, not change the ingredients, or change the fish. When you have a bite you feel like you’re in Peru."

Many of the flavors of Peru's most popular ingredients were present in all of the dishes, but especially in Runa's winner which showed off both artichokes and Aji Amarillo (a yellow pepper native to Peru). The event was the culmination of a six week competition to find the city’s best Peruvian fish dish and draw attention to Peruvian cuisine which has vast appeal and belongs in a category of dining out choices comparable to Mexican, Indian, Thai and more. Falco sees the dish's win as best overall dish as a win for Peruvian food in general as he concludes, "The result was the best for us and surprised us. We have to foster Peruvian exports, and the dish that won the big award for the night included key Peruvian products exported to the US, like shrimp and artichokes, and the special flavor of Aji Amarillo which, increasingly, is gaining the attention of many chefs in the US and around the world.”

Judges: David Blend, Editor,; Fernando Bravo, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs; Chef Carmen Gonzalez; Liseth Pérez-Almeida, Life & Style Editor at El Diario/La Prensa.

Sponsors: Pisco Porton, Intikalpa, Chicha limeña and Cuzqueña

Media Contact:
Francine Cohen (917) 607-2404, francinecohen(at)mindspring(dot)com

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