Summer officially started June 26 at Leclaireur with the launch of Máncora Cebiche Pisco Bar, at Boissy d’Anglas’ bar and terrace. This new adventure features a number of revisited Peruvian culinary treasures, imagined by Amaury de Montlaur and Eloy Calagua Llerna, whose expertise in all things Peruvian-Parisian is revered, to say the least. The result? Freshness all around. Made-to-order ceviches, pure ingredients, pisco-based cocktails and the kind of intuitive, smart personal choices that’ll peak your curiosity as much as it did ours. Thankfully, the 28 year-old entrepreneur partly satisfied it, by answering a few questions…
Despite your Chilean roots, you’re all about Peruvian cuisine.
My mother is from Chile, where sheet my father. I became obsessed with Peruvian food as a child: we lived in France, but we’d have these long, very long and joyous meals, typical of South America, where lunch never starts before 3pm, and ends between 7 and 8. I went to high school in Chile, before spending a year in Argentina. I eventually came back in France to attend Science Po, but South America is in my DNA, and I missed it here. I had two choices: to head back there, or to bring it here. I started dreaming of an affordable restaurant that would also offer a great atmosphere. Máncora Para Todos opened its doors in 2015.
What is so specific about Peruvian gastronomy?
Peru has one of richest culinary cultures in the world, probably thanks to its numerous ethnic and cultural communities, which make for this constant mix of influences. The country’s natural ressources and geographic characteristics have brought depth to its cuisine. There are four culinary types in Peru: Criolla is its cornerstone, based on traditional recipes from Spain, with ingredients from the forest, the mountain or the sea… Nikkei is Japanese-Peruvian fusion, born from the large Japanese settlers who moved there in the 19th century. There’s also Chifa cuisine, where China and Peru meet, and a whole other type of cooking, from Amazonia.
And what of cebiche? With a « b »?
Cebiche is served on the South American Pacific coast, but Peru has always claimed it as its own. There, it is known as « cebiche » whereas it is written « ceviche » in the rest of South America. According to RAE (Real Academia Española), there are four official spellings — ceviche, cebiche, seviche, sebiche, but the favored one is cebiche.
We prepare it the traditional Peruvian way, meaning we use the various chilis, corns and Peruvian spices and herbs, searching for the perfect « Lèche de Tigre » which balances the acidity of lime, the heat of chili and the flavor of fish.
Your second restaurant opened at Leclaireur today…
I met Armand last winter during the Menswear Fashion Week through TRANOI, at the Carreau du Temple, where we were in charge of the catering. He was, as he is known to be, curious and interested, wanting to taste what we had in mind. We stayed in touch, and started discussing the possibility of adapting Máncora to a suitable format for Leclaireur.
Like in 2015, you worked with Eloy Clagua Llerna.
Eloy is the mind behind every cebiche in Paris. He is the absolute reference in his field, specialized in the creation of the best menus and openings. When we started working together, I was very young. Thanks to his experience, I was able to learn the basics, the essentials. Slowly, we took the concept further, from South America to Peru, specifically.
What makes this collaboration between Leclaireur and Máncora so peculiar?
There are new cebiches, of course, to discover. We also came up with tiraditos (Peruvian carpaccios), Peruvian dishes which we twisted out way, and piqueos (appetizers). It really is an incursion into Peruvian culture, aside from our South-American and French wine selection. And then, there’s pisco, the local grape alcohol, and national drink.
The idea is to turn each lunch, very much in the Leclaireur spirit, in a journey, a voyage on the road to discovering the flavors and richness Peru has to offer. And if you feel like having a late lunch, that’s ok too!
Fasten your seat-belts and get ready for take off. Destination, Leclaireur Boissy d’Anglas and its shiny new Máncora Cebiche Pisco Bar, opened Monday to Saturday, from 12pm to 6pm.