José Andrés is nothing if not ambitious.
The chef, who is at work developing the menu for China Chilcano, the Peruvian-Chinese restaurant set to open in Penn Quarter this fall, isn't ruling out one of Peru's most divisive delicacies. He told reporters at a media luncheon at America Eats Tavern Friday that they're considering serving guinea pig (or cuy in Peru).
"We've done harder things before," he said. The chef actually spoke to a couple who raises the creatures but doesn't necessarily think it'll work out — the farmer's wife was into it, but said she might lose her marriage over it. But they're not ruling out another source. He might face some regulatory hurdles, but it wouldn't be the first time for the chef, who was instrumental in bringing iberico ham to the U.S.
Meanwhile, the chef is focused on ensuring America Eats Tavern breaks the curse of the many shuttered restaurants before it, including Michel and Maestro. He's not getting overconfident — for a restaurant to truly be successful, it has to last for twenty years, he says. But if America Eats Tavern is a hit this time around, Andrés would love to take it to the international stage.
"There's not one truly American restaurant [operating] overseas," he said (he's not counting fast food restaurants). He'd ideally like to take the restaurant to China first, and can see it opening in "the Hiltons and the Marriotts of the world." There are no firm plans, though.
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