It’s rare that we get to look closely into a chef’s creation process, no less an innovator like Ricardo Zarate. We recently learned that the Mo-Chica and Picca chef was changing his concept at Marina del Rey’s destined to debut Paiche from a cevicheria to a Peruvian izakaya, with an opening date being eyed sometime this spring. Today, like mashua from heaven, Zarate slides Grub Street some pages from his notebook, allowing us to see a few of the dishes he’s finalizing for Paiche’s menu, as well as the organization and inspiration that fuels the chef’s dish and recipe design. What at first resemble our attempts to draw human cells in biology class turn out to be deliberate, elaborate layouts behind new dishes like milk-fed baby lamb with aji amarillo and miso honey glaze, wild mushroom quinoa salad with huacatay sponge cake, and Wagyu black truffle tiradito, which may see a little change before they hit the table. If you’re anywhere as excited as we are for the new restaurant, you may want to wear a bib as you delve inside of this slideshow peek at the chef’s sketchbook.
Zarate’s sketch of wild mushroom quinoa salad