Mistura 2015, my premeditated worries.
Folks, I am heartbroken. It may seem rash, over exaggerated even. But the manifestation of my gastronomic dogma has dissipated into a complacent fabrication of grease and the communal favorites everyone has grown accustomed to. Sculpted by large companies such as owner APEGA and beer giant Backus, Mistura has transposed from a revival of the languishing dishes and customs from around Peru, to a simpler more commercial gathering of the well known and the well paid.
I fell in love with Peru and its food because of Mistura. I found so many unique and inspirational things there. Like purple, bulbous potatoes and traditional quinoa soups that were made inside pumpkins, cooked over hot stones, curious things that I can no longer find. There used to be a section for food from the north, another with food from the south; separate Amazonian and Andean food tents as well. But they have been deprived of their unique settings to be compiled into one “regional” accommodation. In their stead, there is a sandwich tent, a “fusion” tent, a food truck tent (3/10 are sandwich/hamburger joints), and a tent for cart food. Their phrase this year is “Mistura somos todos!” (We are all Mistura) and feigns this love for Peruvian culture and all it’s people from around the country, but neglects to demonstrate that in the actual event.
Not all is dark, though. Famous food scientist Harold McGee, author of On Food & Cooking, granddaddy of molecular gastronomy, and discoverer of the steak searing myth will be making an appearance in the Qaray congress, who along with other varied talented chefs will give speeches and demonstrations. A great change from the typical underappreciated Latin American star chef (not to be mistaken for an insult there are amazing chefs that have appeared before.) So I’m particularly excited about that.
All in all nothing is set in stone and this Mistura could really surprise me. It starts the 3rd of September this year (in only one week!) so don’t forget to buy your tickets before the pre-sale ends!