Cafe Inkaterra

Q&A with Gustavo Borja, Executive Chef at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

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Tell us a little about your background and how you came to be at ITMP
My name is Gustavo Borja and I’m from Lima, Peru. I graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Miami, Florida, and worked for the Marriott Marquis in Miami, for the Marriott in West Palm Beach Singer Island, and the National PGI resort in West Palm Beach. I´ve also worked as an advisor for several Peruvian restaurants that opened in Miramar, Florida, before moving back to Peru to work at Inkaterra.

What is the ethos behind the food at ITMP- Both in the main restaurant and at Café Inkaterra?
We want our guests to understand the country and all of its cultural aspects before returning home. To enhance the culinary experience and knowing that our guests are travelling so need to feel strong throughout their trip, we have designed a menu that is both healthy and authentic, selecting each flavour so that the final product is a complete gastronomic experience.

What is so special about Peruvian cuisine?
There are three main elements that make Peruvian cuisine so special: firstly, the variety and taste of our products that is not found elsewhere, like the yellow chili pepper, the potatoes, and the corn; secondly, it’s the ancestral ability to use herbs in the kitchen that gives Peruvians a special talent for seasoning. Finally, it is the influence of different cultures (Chinese, Japanese, Cantonese, Italian) that merge with our very special seasonings and has created a kitchen with a soul, a kitchen with its own identity that is distinct from any other cuisine.

What are the most important or iconic ingredients in Peruvian cuisine?
This question is very difficult because I think that Peruvian cuisine has a significant number of seasonings that make it so special. If I had to highlight one in particular, it would be the yellow peppers – I think this ingredient gives Peruvian cuisine its distinct flavour.

Tell us a little more about the diversity of Peruvian food
The gastronomy of Peru is the most diverse in the world, which is proven by the fact that it has the largest number of dishes. Lima is the gastronomic capital of the Americas and has developed greatly thanks to the incredible creativity in the dishes found here. The finest Andean, Afro-Peruvian, Eastern and Western cuisine are found in Lima. Recently, cooking has become Novo Andean, which incorporates the best products and Andean spices along with balanced dietary preparation.

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How have you incorporated different ingredients and styles of cooking at ITMP?
At Inkaterra we create Peru’s ‘haute cuisine’, which underwent great change during the twentieth century through the Nouvelle Cuisine (or new kitchen).  This refers to a new way of cooking based on creativity and imagination. It resulted in a movement that freed the chefs and allowed the creation of new styles of cooking called “signature cuisine.”

Are there any other chefs particularly that have inspired you?
It is the passion for what I do that inspires me but if I had to name one person in particular it would be my mother.

What’s your favorite dish on the current menu?
The lamb shank; it´s a dish that contains lots of flavours, all beautifully balanced, and the technique we use creates a very soft meat. It comes with a sauce, which is fresh and uniquely flavoured.

And what drink would you wash it down with?
This dish would go very well with a cabernet sauvignon, Zuccardi Q (Argentinian wine). This line of wines is characterised by a fatty nuance that wraps the bobbin with well-balanced tannin shavings, and is a perfect combination of red fruits, pepper and wood.

Finally, if you could eat at any restaurant in the world, where would it be and why?
I don’t think I could choose a restaurant, but I would eat anywhere in Peru! The creativity and the diversity of food ensure Peru has an incredible variety of dishes, unlike anywhere else in the world. The creativity, advance in our cooking techniques, coupled with the assortment of dishes, put us in a privileged position.

A journey at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

A Journey with Inkaterra

The great affair is to move

For many travellers, it’s all about the journey. The act of getting from one place to the next is where the fun is. Looking out at passing towns on a train or meandering on a boat through glistening waters gives you time to ponder and reflect on where you have been and where you are going. But gone are the days when boarding a plane gets our adventurous juices flowing, the time has come to explore more unconventional forms of travel.

Here we share with you two of the monumental journeys you can take with us here at Inkaterra that will give you the chance to see some of the remote, picturesque landscapes for which our country is famed.

A train journey from Inkaterra La Casona to  Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo

A train journey from Cusco to Machu Picchu

It’s been said that the train journeys in Peru are some of the most spectacular in South America. Boarding the train in Cusco, you’ll travel along a mountainous backdrop to Aguas Calientes for Machu Picchu. Passengers are treated to jaw-dropping scenery as well as some rather unusual on-board entertainment. There’s even the chance to get some shopping done – watch out for the stewardess modelling some alpaca clothing for sale!

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A boat ride along the Madre de dios River to Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica and Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción 

A boat ride along the Peruvian Amazon

Jumping aboard a long boat at Puerto Maldonado jetty, you’ll set sail along this wide tributary of the Amazon River to Inkaterra Hacienda Concepción and Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica.

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The Madre de Dios River flows through Southern Peru’s rainforest region, the country’s biodiversity capital. With plenty of caymen, birds and turtles to spot, it’s a fun way to start any trip in the Amazon jungle.

Anaconda Walk

Inkaterra launches Walking to Wellness Programme

Walking is the best possible exercise

The human body is designed to thrive in a ‘natural’ environment. It’s worrying then that we’re experiencing the largest global exodus from rural areas to cities in history, with an estimated five million to be ‘geographically cut off from nature’ this year (Spa Finder Wellness Report 2013)With ‘nature deficit disordera new buzz-term, and ‘wellness tourism’ one of 2013’s most salient travel trends, Inkaterra has created an eight night ‘Walking to Wellness’ programme. This incorporates diverse outdoor adventures, daily low-impact exercise, and health-focused spa treatments, taking in Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica and Inkaterra La Casona along the way.

Adventure in the Andes

Guests spend three nights at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel, perfectly located for getting in touch with the Andean Cloud Forest and enjoying nature at its most exuberant.  The programme includes a selection of treks, including a two-hour hike along the Vilcanota River, a staggering walk through the Mandor Valley and a climb up Machu Picchu to the Citadel.   Guests are guided on a botanical walk through Inkaterra’s own native orchid garden and up to the hotel’s organic tea plantation to taste the camellia sinensis tea produced on site.

Our Twilight Walk at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Spa treatments at the hotel’s Unu Spa are included, and have been chosen for their health-boosting qualities.  Drawn from traditional Andean techniques, Inka Purification starts with a lymphatic drainage massage using Coca leaf, an essential element of traditional Andean medicinal rituals. The purification ends with an Andean Sauna where stones are heated in a candle-lit eucalyptus hut in the forest.

UNU Spa at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

For weary walkers, an Andean Foot Therapy, using local herbs and flowers will improve circulation, whilst a De-stress Massage will alleviate tension and anxiety.

Active in the Amazon

Next stop on the Walking to Wellness Programme is the luxurious Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica lodge near the Tambobata National Park. Only accessible via a 45-minute boat ride along the Madre De Dios River away from the city of Puerto Maldonado, it is a gateway to one of the world’s most remote rainforest environments.

On the banks of the Madre De Dios River

Guests will spend three nights in luxurious cabañas, and by day be encouraged into the wild on a series of walks, treks and hikes.  These include an exploration of jungle trails, a trip to Lake Sandoval to spot the endangered Giant River Otter and pre-historic hoatzin bird, then hike to Gaminata Creek, home to piranha, caiman and turtles. The programme also incorporates a rainforest night walk and a climb up the mighty Inkaterra Canopy Walkway .

The Canopy Walkway at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica’s Ena Spa will offer those on the Walking to Wellness programme an Amazon Exfoliation treatment to promote circulation and eliminate impurities, as well as an Amazon Purification using local medicinal plant ‘Cat’s Claw’ or ‘Uncaria Tomentosa’, to purify and cleanse.

The Ena Spa at Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica

Uncover Cusco and The Sacred Valley of the Incas

The programme concludes with two nights at Inkaterra La Casona, a XVIth century colonial mansion in the heart of Cusco. From here Inkaterra guests can visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas to experience the area’s staggering limestone plateaus, natural sinkholes at Moray and ancient salt springs at Maras.

Visit The Sacred Valley, staying in the heart of Cusco at Inkaterra La Casona

Back at Inkaterra La Casona, spa treatments include a Yacu therapy, which uses local river stones including Serpentine, an Andean gemstone. The stones are bathed in warm water and anointed before being placed on the body to promote inner peace and inspire long life.

The programme costs from USD $ 4,070 (approx. £ 2,612) per person in a double room, and includes accommodation, excursions and spa treatments. Meals are also included and healthy menu options are available throughout.  Accommodation is based on double occupancy, superior room category. International and domestic airline tickets are not included but can be organised upon request. For more information on this package please visit our contact us page on our website here