This November, Robert Ortiz, head of culinary development for LIMA Group, including Michelin-starred LIMA Fitzrovia, and Ross Shonhan, chef proprietor of Soho’s favourite Japanese izakaya, Shackfuyu, will host two collaboration dinners celebrating Nikkei cuisine; the fusion of Japanese and Peruvian gastronomic styles. To take place on Monday 7th at LIMA Floral and Monday 14th November at Shackfuyu, the evenings will provide a rare opportunity to sample a unique collaborative menu from two of London’s most innovative restaurants, with both chefs contributing to each dish presented.
As London’s dining scene continues to thrive and attract culinary talent from all over the world, chef collaborations have become a welcome fixture of the city’s gastronomic landscape, yet it remains unusual for the chefs involved to work together to create new dishes from scratch. Breaking the trend, having spent hours together brainstorming ideas and trying out flavour combinations in the kitchen, Robert and Ross will present a menu of brand new dishes never before seen at either restaurant, offering guests the chance to experience a true meeting of culinary minds.
A melting pot of cultures and culinary influences, Peru has one of the largest Japanese populations outside of Japan and the creative fusion of Japanese and Peruvian ingredients and techniques, known as Nikkei is already popular across Peru and beyond. Settling on Nikkei as a natural inspiration for the menu, Robert and Ross will harmoniously combine elements from both cuisines to create a six course menu. Starters will call on Peruvian classics of ceviche and tiradito and incorporate staple Japanese ingredients such as ponzu, yuzu, ginger and mirin to elevate each dish to a new level. Continuing the innovative interplay, a main course of Japanese-inspired partridge marinated in a rocoto soy glaze will find the perfect partner in a Peruvian pork tamale wrapped in hoba (Japanese Magnolia) leaf, whilst warm nanban-style red mullet will be served with aji amarillo for a Peruvian twist. To end the meal on a sweet note, guests will be served kinako picarones, traditional Peruvian donuts deep fried in the same Japanese soya bean crumb used to coat Shackfuyu’s famed French toast dessert, accompanied by Robert’s Peruvian cacao ice cream.
Commenting on the collaboration, Ross notes: “I travelled through Peru earlier this year and became excited by the discovery of Nikkei food. Since my return I have been examining our Yoshoku menu at Shackfuyu and exploring ways to introduce some of these South American flavours into our dishes. Robert and the team from LIMA seemed like obvious partners for us do our first collaboration with”.
Robert adds, “Ever since we opened LIMA, we have had some Nikkei-inspired dishes, mostly tiraditos and ceviches, as part of our offering. Japanese influences are very much ingrained in Peruvian culture and this is something we want to continue to show in our menu creations. For this particular occasion we thought it would be fun to create an event with a Japanese restaurant, and we immediately thought of Shackfuyu.”