Native potato takes center stage at photo exhibit in Lima

The opening drew an illustrious crowd, including Bernardo Roca Rey, president of the Peruvian Gastronomy Society (APEGA), actress Magaly Solier, who first attracted international attention in the 2008 Oscar nominated Peruvian film “The Milk of Sorrow”, and several of Lima’s top chefs.

Since the 90s, French photographer Jean-Louis Gonterre has taken the potato as subject for his art; work which has led to him being dubbed the world’s first “papographer”. His photographs pay homage to the rich biodiversity of native potatoes and the people and landscapes that nurture them.

The photo exhibit is a pre-event to “Mistura” the huge gourmet food fair that has become an annual happening in Lima, paying tribute to the culinary traditions of Peru. The festival attracts international chefs as well as local gourmet stars from Lima’s top restaurants. It also showcases a rich variety of Peruvian dishes and food products. Mistura has been instrumental in putting Peruvian cuisine on the map internationally, as well as tapping into a point of pride and elevating appreciation of Peruvian foods at home. This year the native potato will feature as one of Mistura’s “star” products.

In addition to enjoying Gonterre’s “Fertile Legacy”, visitors to the exhibition can watch a video presentation on the role women and men play in potato production, the most popular varieties planted, and the contribution of the potato to Peruvian cuisine. There will also be additional musical events, literature, and surprise parades, all highlighting the value of the potato in the many different regions and cultures of the Andes.

The exhibition, sponsored by the Peruvian Gastronomy Society (APEGA) and the International Potato Center (CIP), is on display until the 30 August 2010 at the gallery of the Larcomar shopping center in Miraflores. In September, the exhibition will move to the Museo de Arte adjacent to the city’s Exhibition Park for the duration of the “Mistura” festival.

native potato