Over the past several years, SuViche chef and restaurateur Jaime Pesaque has been carving out a Peruvian food empire and is best known for his signature restaurant
Today, the young Peruvian chef is also the man behind the menu at SuViche in Miami, a growing family of establishments with locations in Brickell, South Beach, the Wynwood Arts District, and — most recently — in downtown Fort Lauderdale one block north of Las Olas Boulevard.
One thing each of these establishments has in common: they all showcase contemporary Peruvian fusion with special attention to seafood and — unlike many traditional or family-casual eateries in the area — a pisco bar that offers a number of specialty infusions for an almost limitless range of specialty cocktails.
Name: Jaime Pesaque
Hometown: Lima, Peru
New Times: What inspired you to begin cooking professionally?
Jamie Pesaque: What inspired me to cook professionally are my cultural roots, our bio diversity, and my passion to eat. Cooking for me has been a childhood calling and I don’t know where I would be if I weren’t a chef; it’s in my blood to create delicious food and I’m passionate about crafting beautiful flavor profiles and dishes.
What’s the first important meal or dish you remember making?
My first important meal or dish I remember making is ceviche for friends and family. It's a classic Peruvian dish. We all learn how to make it.
What’s your favorite restaurant / bar in South Florida (besides yours, of course)?
Right now my favorite restaurants in South Florida are Michael’s Genuine and Alter.
What's in store for your winter menu?
For the winter menu we are planning spicy bases with ahi Amarillo curry and roasted seasonal vegetables. The spring menu will feature warm ceviche with different seasonal herbs from Lima, Peruvian mints from the Andes and grouper from the Pacific. Our summer menu will feature cold tiraditos of fresh seafood, raw shrimp and wild mushrooms.
What’s your favorite after-hours drinking spot?
My favorite after-hours spot in Lima is Chifa Titi. In Miami, I like to go to Gigi's in midtown. It's never a disappointment.
What’s the weirdest request you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
The weirdest request I’ve gotten so far is a confit duck tongue. That's not something you hear every day.
What’s your favorite dish to prepare for yourself when there’s no one to impress?
At home I like to cook a lot of braised meats with roasted chiles, and pasta. My daughters love pasta.
What's one of the best dishes you've eaten in South Florida?
I love the prime rib at The Palm in Miami.
What do you feel is lacking from the South Florida food scene?
In my opinion, South Florida is still lacking in high-end Peruvian concepts, and ones like Alter [in Miami]. One of my favorite local chefs is Brad Kilgore from Alter. He does an excellent job in everything he does. But I would like to see more upscale Peruvian restaurants that practice responsible sourcing of their products, and the addition of more risky concepts — maybe Scandinavian food? That's different.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.