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New Worlder

  • Esplicito

    Episode 88: Nando Chang

    7 GIU 2024 · was born in Chiclayo, Peru and is the chef of, a Nikkei restaurant in Miami, Florida. It is the reincarnation of Itamae, the beloved Nikkei restaurant that began as a family food hall stall and later restaurant in Miami’s Design District. Nando’s sister,, who I interviewed on this podcast more than a year ago, opened Maty’s, a Peruvian restaurant in Midtown Miami in 2023, and it has gone on to be nominated for pretty much every major media award for U.S. restaurants since then. The plan from the beginning, however, was to install a more intimate version of Itamae in an adjacent space. The new Itamae, Itamae AO, is tasting menu only. Nando talks about why he won’t call it an omakase, his thoughts about fish butchery, and how he got into fish aging, but also how he understands its limitations. We also discuss Nando’s rap career, which included an album called, with a track titled Sushi Chef, and how it’s still very much a part of his life. He talks about how he was influenced by other chefs cooking Nikkei food, such as Llama Inn and Llama San’s in New York, and getting to know Maido’s Mitsuharu Tsumura in Lima and how it helped him confirm many of his views about Nikkei food and where it is going. I have probably said this before but there’s often this idea of Nikkei food when it gets exported abroad that it is just ceviche and sushi on a menu together. That’s a very limited view of this style of cooking, which, to me, is much more about freedom than limitations. The Chang family, who are Chinese-Peruvian by the way, have understood this very well since they started opening restaurants in Miami. Nando talks a lot about not just doing what everyone else is doing, but doing things that make sense to him. I think it’s a good example to follow for other Peruvian chefs, or any chef trying to find their voice in the kitchen.
    Played 1 h 37 min. 7 sec.
  • Episode #87: Mariana Poo & Luciely Cahum Mejía

    24 MAG 2024 · Today we are speaking with Mariana Poo, the commercial director of and its counterpart, and Luciely Cahum Mejía, a beekeeper, vegetable producer and promoter from the Mayan community of Granada, Maxcanú, who also works with Traspatio Maya. Traspatio Maya, which is part of the larger Haciendas del Mundo Maya Foundation, is an organization based in Mexico’s Yucatán that works with 32 rural indigenous communities and is dedicated to supporting the production of sustainable culinary products harvested in artisanal ways under fair conditions while rescuing ancestral Mayan techniques and improving global production practices. It’s an incredible group that has really changed the gastronomic conversation in the Yucatán and you can see how these women are now driving the conversation around food in the region.I first heard of Traspatio Maya while I was in Merida last year. There was a panel that Mariana was a part of during the regional food festival Sabores de Yucatan, which was partnering with the Best Chef Awards. Everyone else on the panel was a chef, fairly famous ones, that were talking about their stories of working with rural and indigenous producers. At one point, Ferran Adrià, the famous chef of El Bulli and one of the most influential culinary figures in the world without question, who happened to be in the audience, asked to speak and was given the microphone. For the next 20 minutes he rambled on about technology and the future of the global food supply, mostly dismissing the work everyone on the stage was doing. The chefs on the stage just nodded, not wanting to debate this iconic figure, but Mariana pushed back. I was moved by it. In my mind it was like the statue of the Fearless Girl standing in front of the statue of the Charging Bull on Wall Street (note: I’m just referring to this instance. I’ve met Ferran Adrià prior to this and he seems like a decent guy). She stood up for herself and the women she works with, and she did it with love and respect. It was such a perfect example how to move a conversation forward. It’s something I need to remind myself sometimes. You’ll hear Mariana’s response to what she was thinking during this, and also why what she was saying was important. Mariana also tells us about how important working with the restaurant community has been. She explains how Noma Mexico,, allowed them to broaden their focus and how sending surplus produce to restaurants has been an important source of revenue.This is the first bilingual podcast we have had. Traspatio Maya always tries to include the women they work with in everything they do. I saw Luciely on stage with Jordi Roca at the Best Chef Awards, which you will hear about. In the interview you will hear some Spanish, though it is followed by an English translation so please be patient.
    Played 1 h 19 min. 47 sec.
  • Episode #86: Juan Luis Martínez

    10 MAG 2024 · is the chef of the restaurant Mérito in Lima, Peru. Juan Luis was born in Venezuela but has been living abroad and working in restaurants in Spain and Peru for many years. He opened in 2018 after working at Central for several years. It’s this narrow, two-level space in the Barranco neighborhood, with lots of minimalist wood and adobe walls. You see the kitchen right upon entering and there are a few seats there, plus more upstairs. The food is colorful, creative and really, really delicious. Is it Venezuelan? Is it Peruvian? It’s kind of both but also neither at the same time. It’s a restaurant cannot easily be boxed in, and I think that’s the beauty of it. More recently he opened, a café and bakery, which recently moved into a larger location a few blocks from Mérito, which has an attached pizzeria called Indio. And late last year he opened another restaurant, called, which is an even more relaxed version of Mérito.   I was recently a voter in Food & Wine’s and when the results were in I was a bit surprised that of all of the restaurants in the world, Mérito in Lima was the one more of these voters ate better at in the last year than any other. For these awards, Mérito was named the best restaurant in the world. I was surprised, to be honest. Not because they didn’t deserve it, but because the restaurant is so unpretentious. I think some people had the impression I had something to do with Mérito getting that ranking because, but other than being a voter I really didn’t. I don’t have that kind of pull. Thanks for thinking I do though. Juan Luis, and his wife Michelle, who is a designer and whose work has left its own stamp on the restaurants as well, have managed to get a lot of attention, both locally and internationally, for these restaurants. 50 Best. Best Chef Awards. Whatever it is they are probably on it. Yet, they have done it by almost doing the total opposite of what most other restaurants that have received similar amounts of attention have done. They aren’t loud or flashy. The investments in the restaurants have never been lavish or in high profile locations. They aren’t on social media non-stop or flying around to conferences every week. They have just focused on creating good, creative food, in comfortable spaces at reasonable prices with great service. And everyone loves them. I send people there all the time and I cannot say I’ve ever heard someone disliking their experience at Mérito. They just happened to have created a really great restaurant. It’s really that straightforward.   So, what is Mérito? Is it a prototype of Venezuelan food fusing with Peruvian food? There are a lot of overlap of ingredients in the two countries, at least overlap in kinds of ingredients if not the exact ingredients, especially in the Amazon and parts of the Andes. Plus, Lima has a history of absorbing whatever culture comes into town. There are more than a million Venezuelans that have moved to the city over the past decade, a phenomenon that’s happening throughout the region because of the instability in Venezuela. There’s no doubt that Venezuelan diaspora is having a major impact on food in the region, and that’s a story I have been watching closely for years. I’m not entirely sure where Mérito fits into all of that. I think it’s just one kitchen’s evolving understanding of flavor, memory, place and art. It’s not forced or trying to define itself. It just is. And it’s wonderful.
    Played 1 h 13 min. 7 sec.
  • Episode #85: Pietra Possamai

    26 APR 2024 · is the winemaker at in the Pisco Valley of Peru. Born in Brazil, she has led the winemaking operations at Bodega Murga, which also distills pisco, since the beginning, in 2019. Her 32 different labels of natural wines using only six of the eight grapes that are used in pisco production. These criolla varieties are mostly unexplored in winemaking, so the possible combinations of what they can be coerced from them is full of potential. Pietra experiments with skin contact, early harvests, co-fermentations, and aging in amphora. She makes Pét-nat, blends and single varietal wines using these grapes. The results have been pretty incredible. She is making wines that could only be made in Peru. They are appearing at all of the best restaurants in Lima and a few of her wines, like the orange Sophia L’Orange, are appearing on some wine lists in the U.S., Europe and Dubai. She is helping change the wine culture in, which had been quite stale in my opinion. I wrote a story a year ago about It’s quite exciting for me to watch. Even though Peru has the deepest history of viticulture in the Americas, the wine has only become something to write about in the last five years or so. Pepe Moquillaza kind of kicked off the movement, making natural wines from Quebranta and Albilla grapes, and now all sorts of wines are coming out of the woodwork, and most are utilizing I went to visit Murga’s vineyards last year and they are quite special. In the interview we talk a little about the Joyas de Murga vineyard, it’s short trek from the bodega, but it’s completely encircled by towering sand dunes. It got its nickname from the hoyas of the Canary Islands, vines circled by stone walls. If you have a chance, check Pietra’s wines from Bodega Murga, and just Peruvian wine in general. It’s entered into a new era and it can finally co-exist alongside Peruvian food, which, let’s face it, is a high bar.
    Played 1 h 10 min. 43 sec.
  • Esplicito

    Episode #84: Niklas_Ekstedt

    12 APR 2024 · is the owner of the Michelin starred restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden. It’s a restaurant that was designed around live fire cooking, but it started doing this when it opened in late 2011, well before this was a trend. He had spent years working in modern kitchens, everything from Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago to El Bulli in Spain, and he opened a very successful restaurant focused on molecular food when he was just 21. When New Nordic cuisine started to take off and he began to think about how he could be a part of it in a way that made sense to him, he started to think about Nordic techniques. The older ones. He started to research 18th century cookbooks to understand the way Swedes used to eat. It was closer to the way he grew up in the northern part of Sweden, where foraging was a way of life and his parents would buy meat from Sami herders. I was at Ekstedt more than a decade ago and what I assumed would be something of a gimmick – a modern restaurant with just a wood stove, fire pit and wood fired oven that was without gas or electricity in the kitchen – was anything but. The food was smart and honest, the pure expression of the ingredients. It was one of the highlights of a trip that included meals at Relae and Fäviken. Ekstedt has been open for 13 years now, so any novelty of this restaurant has worn off. Many others have followed in its path. Niklas has even opened too.I think there is something important in thinking about the way we used to eat, wherever we are in the world. The last couple of centuries have truly disconnected us from where our food comes from and how we eat it, and we are paying the price. Our food is less nutritious, it often lacks flavor and its pumped full of all kinds of chemicals that are tearing our bodies and environments apart. We all need to peel back those layers and see what was going on a couple of centuries ago. I don’t mean to limit that to restaurant settings, but in our homes as well.  We also talk a bit about how the restaurant industry is changing. Pre-pandemic, chefs used to take themselves very seriously. Kitchens were more like war zones than places of work. Not to say all is fine, but I think there is a sense that things are moving in a more positive direction.
    Played 1 h 7 min. 59 sec.
  • Esplicito

    Episode #83: Andrea Moscoso Weise

    29 MAR 2024 ·, the restaurant manager and beverage director of the restaurant in La Paz, Bolivia. Born in the highland town of Cochabamba, Moscoso was trained as a sociologist, and during the pandemic created a digital platform there called De Raíz, which connected artisan producers of vegetables, wine, beer and other foods with the public. Later, after a meal at Gustu, having never worked in a restaurant before, she dropped what she was doing and decided to move to La Paz for an internship at the restaurant. When her internship was up and she was about to return to Cochabamba, she was offered a job at the restaurant and she has been there ever since. In our discussion, we talk a lot about wine. Bolivia has a burgeoning wine scene. You may have heard our interview with, but Bolivia has some incredible wines, especially the ones coming from old vines and criolla varieties. The sommeliers of Gustu have been one of my primary means of being introduced to new Bolivian wines since the restaurant opened. First it was Jonas Andersen, who now actually runs a wine shop called beside the train station in Croton Falls north of New York City and its wonderful. I went there the other day actually and it’s by far my favorite area wine shop, plus they do nationwide deliveries if you need a a good natural wine purveyor. Then there was, who now lives in Brazil. And now Andrea is there and it’s a really exciting moment, so there was lots to talk about her. We also talk about this pull this particular restaurant has on people. I’ve been going there since Gustu has opened and I have felt it every time I have been there. It has a way of taking someone in and bringing out the best in them. If you ask anyone that has ever worked there will probably tell you that. We spoke with chef about it in an earlier interview. The restaurant has such a purity in what they are trying to do, in a way that is hopeful and real. And what they do is far more than just a restaurant, but have inspired culinary and human development in Bolivia in everything the long arms of gastronomy touches, and that’s a lot of places.
    Played 1 h 5 min. 7 sec.
  • Episode #82: Jaime Duque

    15 MAR 2024 · Jaime Duque (no relation to co-host Juliana Duque by the way) is the founder of, a brand of specialty coffeeshops, roasters and educational centers in Bogota and Quindio, Colombia. Throughout his career, Jaime has worked every part in the value chain of Colombian coffee. He started his work in the fields, as an agricultural engineer, working with farmers to fine tune their process to attain higher levels of quality. He has worked to encourage more specialty growers and for more coffee to be roasted and consumed inside the country. He has become leading coffee educator in Colombia and Catación Pública offers a wide variety of workshops and certifications that are sought out by those in the coffee industry throughout the region. In the interview, we discuss how, even as the rest of the world had been exposed for half a century to the general quality and story of Colombian coffee through the emblematic and imaginary future of Juan Valdez, it has only been until recently that you have been able to actually drink good coffee in Colombia. When I first went to the country, in 2005, most of what you find was tinto, these little cups of coffee loaded with sugar to offset the low quality. All the good stuff was exported. Tinto is still around, but there has been a gradual transition towards a more dynamic coffee culture in the country. Today you see specialty coffeeshops like Catación Pública all over Colombia. There are world class baristas and roasters, and the growers can actually see how their coffee is being consumed, which gives them additional insight into how they should grow it. We also talk about why he thinks fermentation processes like carbonic maceration will remain niche, while cold brew still has enormous growth potential.
    Played 1 h 12 min. 48 sec.
  • Episode #81: Cyrus Tabrizi

    1 MAR 2024 · Cyrus Tabrizi is the founder of, a producer and distributor of fine Iranian caviar. I first met Cyrus last year when we happened to be seated together at a dinner in Udine, Italy during an event called Ein Prosit. After spending a few minutes with him, I began to realize how little I actually understand about caviar and where it comes from. I know it’s considered a luxury product. That caviar is usually expensive. That Russians are known to eat a lot of it. That suddenly millennials are putting it on fried chicken and tater tots. But if you asked me what distinguishes good caviar from great caviar, I couldn’t tell you.The world of caviar has changed dramatically since 2008 when a global ban on caviar from wild sturgeon was enacted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species after sturgeon were being severely overfished. Now, nearly all of the world’s caviar comes from farmed sturgeon. There are 26 different types of sturgeon and each kind produces unique tasting roe, but the conditions in which each are being raised can vary drastically. The most coveted caviar comes from the Beluga, followed by the Ossetra, sturgeons, which are originally from the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Farmed caviar, however, is coming from anywhere now. There are hundreds of farms all over the world. There’s lots of caviar being farm raised in the United States. It’s being raised in Uruguay. A ton of it is being raised in China. Much of it is not Ossetra and Beluga, but from other species. There is also fish roe from other kinds of fish, such lumpfish, flying fish or even salmon, that are called caviar, though technically they do not fit the definition. I tried Cyrus’ caviar in Italy and it is indeed the great stuff. That much I know. He explains why Caspian Monarque stands out, in his words. They are a sustainably minded sturgeon farm in the Caspian Sea, the origin of the finest grades of caviar. As they are being farmed within the Caspian Sea, the natural environment they are from, eating the same food they eat in the wild, they can get the highest quality caviar. However, I cannot even get his caviar, Iranian caviar, in the United States because of a ban on Iranian products in the U.S. He explains why that is and how Iranian caviar industry has a history of legal issues despite being historically sustainable and well managed. That’s why he started the business. He was a lawyer and he liked the challenge.The caviar industry is one ripe with fraud. There are scandalous producers and misleading labels, though there are ways to know if you are getting caviar from a good source. On they actually have a way to check the origin of a tin of caviar by the CITES number on the label, and it’s not just for their caviar, but any legally traded variety. For the most part, it’s up to the consumer to know the difference and understand what they are buying. We talk about how blockchain might be used in the future to help make caviar even more transparent. Who knew there was so much to know about caviar? https://www.newworlder.comn
    Played 1 h 18 min. 45 sec.
  • Esplicito

    Episode #80: Andrea Petrini

    15 FEB 2024 · Andrea Petrini, or Andy as I know him was born in Italy but has lived for many years in Lyon, France. He is a writer, author and founder of, an always evolving culinary performance concept that aims to push the boundaries of culinary art. I was first exposed to Gelinaz! in 2013, during one of the initial events in Lima, Peru. It was a 22-course, 8-hour dinner beside a Pre-Columbian pyramid with some of the world’s best known chefs where all of them made some variation of octopus and potatoes. It was wild and debaucherous, to say the least., and the story quickly went viral. After that I had the opportunity on many occasions to get to know Andy. I was involved in various Gelinaz! performances during the Gelinaz! Shuffle, where I helped chefs like Ana Roš and Niko Romito behind the scenes when they had to cook meals at Boragó in Chile and Central in Peru, respectively. I was also a part of several other Gelinaz! events in New York and elsewhere in one form or another. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and dine with Andy on many occasions. A couple of years ago I was on a television show with the chef Victoria Blamey that Andy was hosting in Italy, where I got to experience his driving skills and lived to tell about it. Andy is one of my all-time favorite people and I think he wildly misunderstood sometimes. What he stands for has always been, at least in my eyes, is pushing gastronomy to break free of its shackles. To take chefs out of their comfort zone and do something creative. To strive for art and love and soul. It doesn’t always work out that way, as you will hear him explain, but I’m grateful there is someone out there like him that keeps pushing, because its needed more now than ever. For the past year he has been working to help restaurants collaborate with different musicians, to rethink the relationship between food and music. Different events will be occurring throughout the year, so follow to find out more.
    Played 1 h 29 min. 32 sec.
  • Episode #79: Melissa Guerra

    26 GEN 2024 · Melissa Guerra is an author and food writer that lives on a working cattle ranch the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas near the Mexican border. She is someone I have wanted to have on since this podcast started, but the timing never quite aligned. I have known Melissa for more than a decade and she has been doing incredible work writing about the foodways of southern Texas. She used to have a PBS show called the Texas Provincial Kitchen, received a James Beard nomination for her book and also wrote for New Worlder in 2017. Today she has a blog called where she writes recipes inspired by her surrounding landscape, as well as a Melissa’s family has been living in the region since the 1700s, long before Texas was a part of the United States. She sees the food of Texas and the U.S,. rather than divided by a political border, but united by ancient trade routes and modern culture. During the interview we talk about the influence of mesquite in the region’s food, how watering holes were the foundation for human habitation there, what real Tex-Mex cooking is and the migrant crisis and how the people in the borderlands view it, rather than through vapid political gestures by politicians.
    Played 1 h 8 min. 21 sec.

The New Worlder podcast explores the world of food and travel in the Americas and beyond. Hosted by James Beard nominated writer Nicholas Gill and sociocultural anthropologist Juliana Duque, each...

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The New Worlder podcast explores the world of food and travel in the Americas and beyond. Hosted by James Beard nominated writer Nicholas Gill and sociocultural anthropologist Juliana Duque, each episode features a long form interview with chefs, conservationists, scientists, farmers, writers, foragers, and more.
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