Mazzato, located at 190 E. Main St, opened in Downtown Canton in 2018 and has been teaching customers the art of Peruvian cuisine ever since.

Chef Jeffrey Del Carpio believes that Peruvian cuisine starts with exceptional ingredients and care. Born and raised in Peru, Del Carpio didn’t always want to be a chef, but he has found his passion in cooking and serving up the finest Peruvian cuisine.

“My brother is an engineer and he told me I should go to school to be an engineer too,” Del Carpio said. “So I studied to be an engineer in Peru for two years and realized that it wasn’t for me. I moved to the capital of Peru, Lima, and began studying to become a chef.”

Before buying the Canton location which was formerly Snug Gastro Pub, Del Carpio was a chef in Washington, D.C. at Latin Concepts and Ocopa Restaurant, which was named to Michelin’s top 100 restaurants in the area in 2016. He previously worked at Fuego de Miramar in Miami. Mazzato is his first venture as a restaurant owner with his business partner Juan Kukurelo.

Del Carpio described Peruvian cuisine as being a mix of different cultures. He said that the immigrants of Peru brought their style of cooking but used Peruvian ingredients, therefore making a new kind of cuisine.

“Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Spanish, they all came to Peru and they made their traditional recipes but with Peruvian ingredients. So through that was born the Peruvian food,” Del Carpio said.

That’s the reason you will find very familiar sounding dishes on the menu at Mazzato, even if you have never had Peruvian food before. Dishes like caprese, paella, tostones, wok-fried rice, fettuccine with cream sauce and more can be found on the menu but with a Peruvian twist. Del Carpio said that the most traditional Peruvian dishes are ceviche and lomo saltado.

“Lomo Saltado comes from the Chinese culture,” Del Carpio explained. “ I use a wok to make fried rice, beef tenderloin with soy sauce, add tomatoes, onions, cilantro and serve it with crunchy potatoes.”

Although Del Carpio would say his favorite dish is the Lomo Saltado (or anything his grandmother whips up), he is also very proud of his menu item, Ceviche of the Chef. I had the chance to try the Ceviche of the Chef and while I waited for it to be prepared, Del Carpio prepared me a classic Peruvian cocktail, the Pisco Sour.

“A Pisco Sour is our house Pisco, we use Caravedo, cane sugar, pressed lime, egg whites and bitters,” Del Carpio said as he shook up the cocktail. It was decorated with a Peruvian spider monkey on top of the foam. It was sweet, but not too sweet, sour, but just enough.

He brings the Ceviche of the Chef to me as I’m sitting at the long wood bar and my eyes immediately lit up. Between the pink sauce surrounding the octopus and round fish, fried calamari decorating the top and then the colorful vegetables that lined the plate, my tastebuds were excited. I asked him how to eat it and he told me to “get a little bit of everything in one bite”, so that’s what I did. A little bit of fish, yucca, sweet potato, onions and then topped the bite with a pine nut and a bite of the plantain chip. It was a medley of flavors and textures that harmonized perfectly. It was filled with unique flavors that you can’t find just anywhere.

Del Carpio takes his background in engineering to design his plates with care and creativity. Each dish transports you to Peru with its flavors, textures and techniques.

The next time you are thinking about trying something new, head down to Mazzato and try Chef Del Carpio’s Peruvian cuisine. For more information visit https://www.mazzatorestaurant.com/

RECIPE:

Lomo saltado is a popular, traditional Peruvian dish, a stir fry that typically combines marinated strips of sirloin (or other beef steak) with onions, tomatoes, french fries, and other ingredients; and is typically served with rice. The dish originated as part of the chifa tradition, the Chinese cuisine of Peru, though its popularity has made it part of the mainstream culture.

Sauce

* 3 Tablespoons low sodium beef broth

* 1/2 Cup red wine

* 1 Teaspoon salt

* 1 Teaspoon black pepper

* 1/3 Cup soy sauce

* 1/3 Cup oyster sauce

* 2 1/2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar

Main

- 3 Idaho potatoes (unpeeled), cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips

- 1 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin steaks, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips

- 4 tomatoes, each cut into 4 wedges

- 1 red onion, cut through stem end into 8 wedges, peeled

- 1/4 Cup chopped fresh cilantro

- Olive oil for frying

-Blend all the ingredients of the sauce and reserve.

-Heat enough oil in large deep non-stick skillet to reach depth of 1/8 inch. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

-Heat 2 1/2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add beef; sauté until brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beef to plate. Add onion to same skillet and cook until beginning to soften, turning with tongs, about 2 minutes per side. Add tomatoes, cilantro, lomo sauce, and reduced broth and cook 2 minutes, add the beef and serve with a side of rice and potatoes.

Enjoy your Peruvian dish!

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