Aqua Expedition’s Executive Chef in the Amazon, Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, has earned global recognition, including from The Diners Club® World’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, for his innovative Amazonia influenced cuisine, served at Lima’s top ranked Malabar and Amaz restaurants, as well as on board the Aqua Amazon and Aria Amazon.
Guests can savor hearts of palm soufflé, scallops with wild almonds and umari fruit, plantain and yucca gnocchi, escolar fish in aji panka chili adobo, and grilled paiche with Amazon huatia potatoes among other locally-inspired delicacies.
Though Peruvian cuisine has made its way around the world, many of Schiaffino’s obscure yet delectable ingredients grow only in the Amazon jungle. He has spent years studying the cooking traditions and food resources of Amazonia, while working beyond the kitchen with anthropologists and environmental scientists. The Lima based chef returns often to go even deeper into this dense jungle, in search of the next sustainable ingredients he’ll incorporate to create original dishes for Aqua Expeditions guests on the Amazon.
Schiaffino says around 70% of all ingredients on board are sourced in the waters and rainforest surrounding our journey, but guests may rest assured that dishes also stay true to more accessible indigenous traditions like Peruvian ceviche, with its succulent tranches of just caught river fish, juicy onions, cilantro, coriander and corn kernels the size of South Sea pearls.
Asked about his quests of gourmet discovery, Schiaffino replies with the excitement of a New World explorer in the time of Columbus:
“First I may hear from friends in Iquitos or villagers along the river about an unfamiliar dish or ingredient. So I start asking questions. Back in Lima, I dig to learn more, asking anthropologists and other experts. Then, knowing my curiosity won’t be satisfied without tasting it myself, I plan another visit, sometimes heading off on a speedboat for eight hours or more. The Amazon constantly offers up tastes and flavors I’ve never imagined before.”