This idea of Canta Lola hatched in London in younger years. Let’s just say a while before the time of social media. As a new lusting Londoner I was loving the food scene from all corners of the world only a tube ride away on any direction. The representation of so many cultures and heritage through delicious and history rich cuisines present all over and for any kind of pockets. But as any exile I would find myself home sick at times, longing for the flavours of back home.
I was daydreaming about grandma’s magical and comforting Aji de gallina. About the tasty pork tamales from the corner vendors after church on Sundays. The weekly treat to run to our local juice bar in the market across the street from grandma’s house. Eyes and all senses stimulated by the colour and ripe sweetness of all fruit on offer. Every time faced with the euphoric challenge to select either papaya, mango juice or a batido de lucuma. The amazing picanterias and cevicherias of Lima where you could go crazy on the tanginess, freshness and richness of gorgeous dishes based on fish and seafood. This absence of flavors and representation of my culture was a kick in the butt for me to start recreating and even sharing those dishes. A way to keep alive this part of my identity and to offer it with pride.
Back then, Peruvian cuisine wasn’t the trend and its was just simply unheard of outside its borders. One of the early steps into showing any sort of culinary skillset was making ceviche to a discerning audience or more accurately said to a bunch of thankful but skeptical friends. It was fun explaining that with ceviche the lime sort of cooks the raw fish and that’s how you eat it. Around this time people were just about discovering what sushi was. I kept the day job and it was the end of it.
So here we are opening Canta Lola with that original idea but 2.0. A little delayed by a couple of decades and evolution as time and other life choices got happily in between. But the dream of sharing our food culture was always very much alive. Now, ready and with a clearer vision and with a sum of influences and experiences we open our doors in the center of Stockholm.
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