BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Sept. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, chef and owner of Malabar and Ámaz restaurants in Lima, Peru, has been honoured with the American Express Icon Award 2019. The prestigious recognition, presented by Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants, celebrates an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry and has used their profile as a chef to raise awareness and drive positive change.
Schiaffino is best known for his pioneering culinary exploration of the Amazon rainforest, through which he introduced Amazonian techniques and produce such as ají dulce, cupuazú fruit and paiche fish to Lima and the wider Latin American gastronomic scene. Such efforts have helped reverse the effects of overfishing and allowed indigenous communities to expand the value chain of their ingredients. Today – taking into account the region's current challenges – Schiaffino continues to shed light on the importance of preserving the Amazon through a sustainable approach to its resources.
"The biodiversity and indigenous communities of my country are two of my greatest inspirations. We can talk about individual icons, but I also think an icon can be a whole people, a whole community or indigenous community," said Schiaffino. "I'm humbled to be given a platform to help people see the Amazon differently."
Schiaffino will be recognised for his contributions at Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants 2019 awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, on Thursday, 10th October, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is the first year the event programme has been hosted in Argentina, following previous editions in Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
"Pedro Miguel Schiaffino embodies what it means to be a culinary icon. He has transformed the local gastronomic experience of a nation, all while re-valuing one of its vital cultures," said William Drew, Director of Content for Latin America's Best 50 Restaurants.
Born in Lima on the Peruvian coast, Schiaffino connected with the biodiversity of his country at a young age. He studied at the Culinary Institute of America and later moved to Italy, where he trained in haute cuisine at the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners in Piedmont. Upon his return to Peru, he rediscovered one of the world's unique natural larders after a brief trip to the port city of Iquitos, a gateway to the tribal villages of the Amazon.
Today, Schiaffino regularly travels to the Amazon on food expeditions to explore native ingredients. In 2004, he opened Malabar restaurant, where he incorporates a variety of these products into the menu. By 2012, Schiaffino had opened Ámaz, a restaurant completely dedicated to studying and uncovering the biodiversity of the Amazon and preserving its ingredients.
"We are proud to honor Pedro Miguel Schiaffino with the American Express Icon Award," said Chris Cracchiolo, Senior Vice President, Global Loyalty & Benefits, American Express. "His innovative spirit and unwavering commitment to preserving the Amazon has long inspired the culinary world and brought individuals and communities together around his one-of-a-kind dining experiences."
Long one of Peru's most forward-thinking cooks, Schiaffino has led Malabar and Ámaz to regular spots on the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list, placing at No.39 and No.48 respectively in 2018, and has earned numerous global recognitions for his work with rainforest-to-table cuisine.
The American Express Icon Award 2019 is the second of three awards announced before the list of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants is revealed in on 10th October. It follows the unveiling of Chile's Carolina Bazán as Latin Amercia's Best Female Chef 2019 last month, and precedes the upcoming announcement of the Miele One To Watch Award on 26th September.
Note to editors
The selection process
Latin America's American Express Icon Award is voted for by more than 250 restaurant industry experts and well-travelled gourmets from across the region, with a 50:50 gender balance, who make up Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants Academy.
The Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list, voted for by the same body, provides a snapshot of the opinions and experiences of the Academy. It is a globally recognized gastronomic reference point, which showcases leading trends and highlights great restaurants from all corners of the region. What constitutes 'best' is left to the judgement of these trusted and well-travelled gourmets. There is no predetermined checklist of criteria, but there are strict voting rules. The Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants voting process and results are subject to independent adjudication by world-renowned professional services consultancy Deloitte.
William Reed Business Media
The list of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants, now in its seventh edition, is published by William Reed Business Media, which also publishes The World's 50 Best Restaurants, launched in 2002, and Asia's 50 Best Restaurants, launched in 2013. William Reed Business Media is solely responsible for organizing the awards, collecting the votes and producing the list.
About the award sponsor: American Express
American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, InAuth.
About the host city: Buenos Aires
Argentina's capital and most populous city, Buenos Aires, is located on the western shore of the Río de la Plata estuary on South America's southeastern coast. The city is neither part of Buenos Aires Province nor the provincial capital; rather, it is an autonomous district. Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination that offers a unique blend of European elegance and Latin American passion. Famous as the birthplace of tango, the city is also home to world-class opera, theater and art, well-preserved European-style architecture, native traditions, and to restaurants that overflow with wines from Mendoza province and cuts of beef fresh from the Pampas. For more information on tourism, visit: travel.buenosaires.gob.ar or follow Buenos Aires' Facebook page or Instagram.
About the main sponsor: S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna
S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna are the main sponsors of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants. S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna are the leading natural mineral waters in the fine dining world. Together they interpret Italian style worldwide as a synthesis of excellence, pleasure and well-being.
- Estrella Damm – Official Beer Partner; sponsor of the Chefs' Choice Award
- República del Cacao – Official Chocolate Partner; sponsor of the Latin America's Best Pastry Chef Award
- Wines of Argentina – Official Wine Partner
- Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires – Official Hotel and Venue Partner
- Miele – Official Home Appliances Partner; sponsor of the Miele One To Watch Award
- Gin Mare – Official Premium Gin Partner
- illycaffè – Official Coffee Partner
- Rutini Wines – Official Sparkling Wine Partner
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