SUMMUM 2023 is inspired by the laudable concept of sustainability. The fact is, however, that food in Peru has been sustainable since ancestral times. The Incas performed agricultural research at Moray, near the Urubamba Valley and presentday Maras district, Cusco. There, they experimented with their crops by creating microclimates and striving to achieve the optimal use of water and space.
Hundreds of years later, at a time when Peruvians are being put to the test by nature and poor decision-making, society is now organizing to undertake collective solutions that make survival possible: Ollas Comunes, Comedores Populares, or community-run food kitchens, and are an incredible example of the shared values that are reinvented each time the economy falters, seeking to alleviate hunger in urban and rural communities alike. The private sector has learned to support and join these efforts by playing its own role, putting a face and name to the essential values of solidarity and sustainability.
In these community-run spaces – which often perform miracles to make supplies stretch so that they can help everyone in need – everything has a use. Everything is recycled and nothing goes to waste. These endeavors have been further enriched with the help of professionals with expertise in nutrition and environmental matters.
At the same time, Peruvian farmers in the country’s central highlands, northern regions, and jungle are protecting endemic crops, working hard to preserve products at risk of extinction while placing renewed value on native fruits. Peru’s world-renowned chefs play an invaluable role in these efforts, offering encouragement and investing in the research that makes it possible to recover and develop these crops.
Those same chefs have taught us to respect closed seasons and to stop consuming certain species, especially those that inhabit the ocean, if we want to prevent their extinction.
The planet can thus count on Peruvian cuisine in the arduous fight for sustainability.
The people of Peru and their extraordinary food – one of the most magnificant and inclusive of all the country’s treasures – have a very special view on what it means to be human.
According to the Independence Day survey conducted by Ipsos/Perú21, food is our greatest source of national pride. But that wasn’t always the case. When we first conducted the SUMMUM survey in 2007, food ranked fifth among reasons why we love our country. At that time, the culinary boom was just starting to take off. This sea change in public opinion
is significant because the act of cooking and managing a restaurant are both excellent examples of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit. Cuisine also highlights our rich biodiversity and extraordinary cultural intermingling.
The SUMMUM Ipsos survey is not a general poll like the ones Ipsos frequently conducts to measure public opinion. Nor is it an open voting process of the kind that some websites organize, running the risk that certain candidates may rally followers in an attempt to rig the vote in their favor. The method we have used since the awards’ inception is based on a panel of experts. On a panel, voting is by invitation only and no one can vote more than once.
The Ipsos panel for the SUMMUM awards consists of
5,000 connoisseurs and gourmands. All of them receive the survey, and this year a total of 905 people responded, an excellent sample for this methodology. The only condition for voting in each category is that respondents must have visited restaurants specializing in a given type of cuisine at least three times in the last year.
The anxiously awaited Top 20 ranking is the result of a formula that takes into account the votes for each category, as well as the weighted responses to the questions about the best food (60%), best ambiance (20%), and best service (20%). This ranking is an acknowledgement of our chefs’ incredible talent, of course, but it is also a recognition of the joint effort made by investors, employees, and suppliers who make it possible for us to enjoy such memorable experiences when we go out to eat, placing Peru among the world’s top culinary tourism destinations, to the benefit of all.