Peru’s participation at IGEHO 2017 was a hit with the event’s attendees. Around 10,000 event-goers visited the country’s stand at the fair venue in the Swiss city of Basel, celebrating its distinguished position as “Guest Country of Honor.”
IGEHO is an international trade show held in Basel, Switzerland for the hotel, restaurant, catering and care industries. With over 50 years of history, last year the event drew more than 70,000 professional visitors and 800 participating companies.
The final Tuesday was dedicated to Peru, with a ceremony in its honor attended by Peru’s ambassador to Switzerland, Luis Enrique Chávez Basagoitia. He was accompanied by Isabella Falco, director of Communication and Country Image at PROMPERÚ. Her speech highlighted the wealth of Peru’s health food production and the talent of its chefs: “Our impressive list of Peruvian chefs and restaurants features 10 on the list of the 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America, three of which are ranked among the World’s 50 Best Restaurants,” she remarked.
Falco and Basagoitia were joined by Aldo Parodi, Peru’s Economic and Business Advisor in France and Switzerland, and IGEHO Project Leader Matthias Lagger, to lead a ceremony that culminated in a performance of folk dances from Peru’s three main regions.
Peru’s involvement in IGEHO is part of its strategy to promote Peruvian food abroad. The aim is to find new markets for Peruvian products.
“This opportunity has allowed us to reinforce the prominence of our dishes and ingredients in Europe, where every year more Peruvian restaurants open their doors. The idea was to share the food and products that Peru offers the world; the bounty of the coasts, mountains and jungles that we promote under the umbrella brand Super Foods Peru because of their unique nutritional, antioxidant and energizing properties,” commented Falco.
In addition to the activities at Peru’s stand, Peruvian chef Heine Herold of Catalina 555 put on a special masterclass in the main auditorium. The chef prepared a huatia in salt with Peruvian sauces especially for this occasion, with a hundred-odd attendees attentively looking on. Herold accompanied the delegation sent from Peru to man the stand and enlivened the exhibition with two show cookings each day. The shows featured dishes firmly rooted in Peruvian cuisine but with ingredients available in Europe so participants can replicate them and get hands-on experience with Peruvian food.
The fare was rounded out by the contributions of Peruvian restaurant Pachacamac, located in Geneva, Switzerland. Dishes included ceviche, tiradito (raw, citrus-marinated fish) and lomo saltado (marinated steak stir-fry). There was also a daily mixology demonstration highlighting the versatility of pisco. Other activities included group photos in front of Machu Picchu and giving out gifts hung on a traditional yunza tree, all of which drew in attendees and piqued their interest in Peruvian culture.