Peru in London: Food, Art and Culture

We spoke to Peruvian Igor Siveroni to find out more about Peruvian experiences in London. Igor has organised several events in London to promote Peruvian culture including a Peruvian fair (Brightest Peru) and a photography exhibition. He has recently started Southern Exposure, an organisation promoting Peruvian culture in London.

Moving To London

I moved to London in October 2000. I had been interested in English culture since I was young. In particular, the Victorian era, eccentric London, English beer and British music. It seemed so far way from Peru but, after living seven years in the US, I was ready to move to London.

I like the mix of old and new [in London], how Victorian architecture sits next to modern buildings and how the old layout of the city is populated by buildings of different periods.

The cultural supply in London is endless: museums, theatre, fashion, film, exhibitions, concerts, etc. I find that London has the perfect mix of history and modern trends. Unlike other European cities that have become museums, London is alive.

Peruvian Culture in London

There’s only one Peruvian restaurant in London, Tito’s (the other restaurant, El Aguajal, closed in 2009). However, there’s a Peruvian food stall in Camden Market and two more at Regent’s Place Market on Triton square, plus the Partridge’s Food Market near the Saatchi Gallery – the last two are run by Peruvian caterers Panka.

The British Museum collection has a few Peruvian pieces from Inca and pre-Inca eras (unlike Mexico, Peru does not have a dedicated space). You can find them in the “Living and Dying” and “Enlightment” rooms on the ground floor. A few more pieces are on display in the “The Changing Museum” room (Inca Gold Llama, Paracas textile, Moche warrior pot).

Several young Peruvian artists live in London. Their work is often exhibited by The Peruvian Embassy‘s Portable Gallery and Civic Room. Currently  the installation “The Followers” by Peruvian artist Ximena Garrido-Lecca  is on show at the Saatchi Gallery.

Several bands that play Peruvian music or that are made up of Peruvian musicians are based in London. The Lokandes Project fuses afro and Andean music while Kausary plays Latin-Andean fusion.

The Peruvian Community in London

Compared to other Latin American countries, the Peruvian community is relatively small (perhaps 6000 people?) The Anglo-Peruvian Society organises talks at the Peruvian Embassy, Canning House and the Instituto Cervantes.The cultural branch of the Peruvian Embassy organises exhibitions and cultural events at the Embassy.

Southern Exposure organises monthly events – Pisco Night (serving Pisco-based drinks in different locations) and PeruPopUp (a night of Peruvian film, food and drinks).

Southern Exposure‘s new website will soon be live at www.southexp.org but until then you can find out about upcoming events on the Facebook page. Where else can you experience Peruvian culture in London? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Gale says:

    nice article. maybe i’ll check some of this out while i’m in london. thanks! gale

  2. I will try and get myself along to the photography exhibition and the next time I’m over at Camden I will definitely visit the Peruvian food stall.

    • The photography exhibition (Roberto Huarcaya) took place a couple of years ago but we are planning another exhibition with Peruvian photographers.

      In the mean time, stop by the Saatchi Gallery to see Garrido-Lecca’s work at NewsPeak: British Art Now (until April 2011). The Phillips de Pury space at Saatchi is showing an exhibition of Chilean artists (Tectonic Shift) on January 2011.

  3. Claire Doble says:

    And don’t forget the famous London resident Paddington Bear is also from Peru! http://www.paddingtonbear.com

  4. Jeannete Eik says:

    Great initiative! I’ll love to come to one of these events next time I’m in London!

  5. silvia Elaluf-Calderwood says:

    And do not forget the London Open Days (in August/September) when you can visit the most amazing hidden gems of London.

  6. Gabriela Skopova says:

    I am going to pass this article to people, who want to know more about peruvian culture, food etc.
    Very good, interesting article, full of useful information!

  7. For those who want to try Pisco cocktails and listen/dance to Peruvian and Latin American Rock, check out Pisco Night Live this Saturday, January 15 at The CAMP (Central London). For more information visit .

    See you there!

  8. Vida London says:

    If you’re interested in Peruvian food in London, you might want to check out the website of Martin Morales, a half-Peruvian chap who plans to set up an authentic Peruvian restaurant in London later in 2011:

    http://vidalondon.net/2011/02/21/peruvian-food-in-london-prepares-for-the-big-time/

    http://martinceviche.com/

  9. Jenny says:

    Get a taste of Peru at the Flavours of Peru Festival, 17-23 October 2011 at the Cookbook Cafe http://www.cookbookcafe.co.uk/

  10. Karim says:

    20OCT11: LONDON PREMIERE of MISTURA the power of food and screening of Cooking Up Dreams – Charity Screenings of Peruvian films.

    http://www.discoveringlatinamerica.com/documentaries-event/events/flavours-of-peru.html

    Join Discovering Latin America and the Embassy of Peru for the ‘Flavours of Peru’ gourmet food festival this October, and see exclusive screenings of two award winning documentaries that take a mouth-watering look at Peruvian cuisine and culture.

    The screenings will be held on 20th October at Shortwave Cinema (10 Bermondsey Square, London SE1 3UN) and tickets cost just £8.00.

    7:15 – 8:00 pm (London Premiere) – £8.00
    ‘MISTURA, the power of food’ (‘MISTURA, el poder de la cocina’) directed by Patricia Perez.
    - Getting a country together never tasted better -

    8:30 – 9:45 pm – £8.00
    ‘Cooking Up Dreams’ (‘De Ollas y Sueños’) directed by Ernesto Cabellos.
    - Can an entire nation be represented by its cuisine? -

    Proceeds from the event will go to Kiya Survivors’ work in Peru, where they run educational centres for young people with special needs who have suffered abuse and abandonment, and offer support to families living in severe poverty.

    Don’t miss out! Purchase your tickets online now from Shortwave Cinema.
    http://oscar01.savoysystems.co.uk/Shortwave.dll/

    And if you are in the mood for dancing afterwards, we will have Silvio DJ spinning some latin tunes from 10:00 pm onwards!

  11. Catia says:

    Hello
    I am in charge of the music department at Coya London.

    We are a South American restaurant with a focus in Peru.

    I am wondering if anyone knows some Peruvian bands that can shine in our premises?

    All help is much appreciated!

    Thank you

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