The GROW recipe competition attracted foodies from across Peru and Latin America, with some truly inspiring entries. Cada Every dish celebrated the produce grown in Peru by small-scale farmers every day.
Peruvian chef Flavio Solorzano, chose Diego Camacho, a 21 year old graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Peru as the winner. He invited Diego and his guest, Gladys Lucana from FEMUCARINAP to dine with him at his restaurant Señorio Sulco in Lima. Diego’s entry featured on Flavio’s menu as a limited edition GROW meal. Gladys was the winner of the ‘honourable mention’, for her recipe “Laberinto de Kinwa Qomer”, using homegrown Peruvian ingredients.
Flavio prepared a selection of Andean and Amazonian dishes, with staples of Peruvian cuisine; meat, potatoes, cassava and local vegetables. Over dinner, the three food 'musketeers' discussed the importance of the work done by small-scale farmers, and how rural women are true food innovators. Gladys told them that women are always creating new dishes for their families to make food go further. They exchanged recipe ideas and Peru's reliance on natural products from the countryside.
Three chefs from three different backgrounds (Gladys from the rural countryside, Diego from the coast – Trujillo - and Flavio from the capital), bonded through their shared love for the natural products and cuisine of Peru, and a common goal; to promote and support the work of small-scale farmers.
The winning dish: “Tribute to Pachamama” (Mother Earth)
Flavio's version of Diego's dish
When colleagues from Oxfam in Peru spoke to Diego to find out more about his life and work, it became clear just how much winning the competition meant to him. Not only did it give him the opportunity to show off his skills in the kitchen, with local ingredients, but learning about the hidden heroines of the food system opened his eyes to the work being done by women in fields and on farms all over Peru.
“They say behind every man there is a woman,” he said.
“Behind the ‘superstar’ cooks, are small-scale farmers with willpower, faith and optimism. Farmers – food heroes - are often not considered and are forged to anonymity.”
“I feel that I can identify with small-scale farmers. They usually wake up before the sun to work the land with their hands. But can you even imagine what we would be without you, my dearest small-scale farmers?”
“I am very happy to be chosen as the winner of the GROW recipe competition. Participating has truly opened my eyes. Opportunities in Peru are increasing; we are a rapidly developing country with great potential that every day is more surprising."
“Please, when cooking, do not buy from the cheapest bidder, but find out where your food is coming from and about the best way to support small-scale producers. It could be the start of a food culture revolution.”
Gladys Lucana Moya, from Puno, in southeastern Peru is an activist for small-scale women farmers. She was honoured by Flavio for her creation, “Laberinto de Kinwa Qomer”, (Green Quinoa Maze).
“Nowadays, people only think of food as a commodity, and we do not think about access to food as the fundamental right of people. Women producers face a harsh reality in the field, exposed to unfair conditions such as excessive working hours, lower wages than of men, no land titles and without health insurance, among other things.”
“My dish is for all those rural women that are guardians of our food sovereignty, as there is still too little awareness of the work that these women do”, Glady said.
FEMUCARINAP is an organization of women from across Peru who campaign for women producers and their right to land, dignity and freedom from exploitation.
Find out more
"Tribute to Pachamama": the winner of the GROW recipe competition
Oxfam GROW Campaign