With a collection of global restaurants, a compilation of cookbooks to his name and his own TV show in his home country of Peru, chef Gaston Acurio can singlehandedly be credit for bringing Peruvian cuisine to the world’s attention.
One of his stars, is the eagerly-awaited and eagerly-appreciated Manko — his first Peruvian eatery in France. Named after Manco Cápac, Son of the Inca Sun God, the restaurant’s location on Avenue Montaigne in Paris’ Golden Triangle is particularly appropriate.
The interior design
‘This epitomises modern Peru to me. We used materials in their natural state. Such as marble, oak, leather and two hundred-year-old terracotta floor tiles sourced in Provence,’ says the designer Laura Gonzalez.
And it’s easy to understand what she means when saying that — with raw leather banquettes, plush velvet teal chairs alternated with furnishings dressed in traditional Inca prints and vivid gold accents, the designer really hits it of. Laura Gonzalez’s inspiration for the interiors was truly a diamond in the rough. As for the lightning, the designer took on a special look.
‘As it’s on the lower ground floor, lighting was paramount. We designed bronze lampshades to create a golden glow, to make diners look their very sexiest.’
Chef Acurio’s convivial and generous personality can be spotted everywhere — the wide oak tables, encouraging groups of diners to order large dishes for sharing, the open kitchen, appropriately placed at diner’s eye level — making Manko truly to be his playground.
What about the menu?
The menu is all about sustainably sourced fish, served as ceviches. Or tiraditos marinated in leche de tigre (lime juice, fish fumet, coriander, onion and yellow chilli pepper). A dish that is one of Manko’s pride. There is also smoky charcoal grilled beef for those who are carnivores. The dish is accompanied by a selection of Peruvian vegetables. Which includes quinoa, asparagus, choclo (Peruvian corn) and yellow and purple potatoes.