For people who love really good food like us, a four-hand dinner is a great opportunity to try the cuisine and creations of two exceptional chefs that may be cooking together for the first time. Even better if each chef has a distinctive style of cooking, come from different cultures or work at restaurants miles apart. The collaboration can produce an unique menu with brilliant dishes that can only be enjoyed once.
4-hands dinner events follow the same pattern most of the time: one menu with alternate dishes prepared by two chefs. One chef is generally the host and the other the guest coming from another country, another city or just another local restaurant. Both chefs present a number of signature dishes trying to showcase technique, local ingredients and style the best they can. In some cases the chefs will co-create dishes for the evening inspired by each other’s cuisines.
In this occasion we sat down for an amazing 6-course dinner by two chefs we admire: Koldo Miranda from Cuarto Frio restaurant in Bogotá, Colombia and Virgilio Martinez, from acclaimed restaurant Central in Lima, Peru, one of the best restaurants in the world.
The event was an inspiring showcase of flavors with the two chefs presenting exceptional dishes in totally different styles but in complete harmony with each other.
First chef Virgilio Martinez started with one of his signature creations from Central restaurant: “Terreno de Mar” (Sea Terrain), a minimal dish of squid and huarango topped with a crispy sargassum seaweed cracker that clearly showed Martinez’s love for the sea. The dish was paired with a sea salt and algae cocktail.
Next, chef Koldo Miranda, who was born in Spain, served a dish inspired in Japanese cuisine but with clear influences from his native land: “Esencia Nipona con Influencias Ibéricas”, a well-executed piece of salmon nigiri topped with colorful ingredients that was perfect in its simplicity. The wine pairing was also from Spain: Finca Nueva Viura, barrel fermented.
It was the turn of chef Virgilio to present the next dish. “Valle de Altura” (High Valley) was an exquisite example of Peruvian ingredients combining avocado, kiwicha (an Andean flower) and arracacha in a well balanced explosion of flavors. This dish was paired appropriately with an Andean Pisco.
Chef Koldo followed with his “Atun en escabeche malagueño”,a visually stunning and perfectly executed tuna dish with clear Spanish influences that tasted as good as it looked. It was paired with a Zuccardi Serie A Malbec from Argentina.
Koldo Miranda continued with one more of his creations: a tasty “Cerdo laqueado” (lacquered pig) so crispy that you could hear it break apart in your mouth. Another Spanish influenced dish that really worked with the rest of the menu.
To finish the night Virgilio Martinez presented a dessert called “Diversidad de Cacao” (Cacao Diversity). A beautiful display of texture and color that was both refreshing and sweet.
After the meal, both chefs thanked each other and the team at Cuarto Frio, the restaurant that hosted the event, for a flawless dinner and received a well-deserved round of applause.
This was a night to remember, an inspiring demonstration of talent, regional ingredients and flavors by two experienced chefs working in tandem to create a memorable experience. And memorable it was.
Photos: Numa Food Guide