Blog by Graham Thiele, RTB Program Director
At the beginning of January I visited the Hatunpa restaurant just round the corner from the magnificent Santa Catalina Convent in Arequipa. Hatunpa only serve potatoes and especially native potatoes!
Cesar Torres, who runs the restaurant together with chef Cecilia Guerra Cornejo, explained to me that the restaurant began in 2011 but in 2012 they introduced native potatoes. Hatunpapa comes from quechua Hatun meaning “big” and Papa for “potato”. Native potatoes are prepared sliced with toppings such as the Peruvian favorite aji de gallina and the traditional rocotto relleno.
Cesar and Cecilia have teamed up with Edilberto Soto Tenorio who leads the Consorcio Papas Andinas del Perú (CORPAPA), which brings together small farmers in Ayacucho to promote and market native potatoes. CORPAPA builds good communication and trust with clients such as Cesar under the philosophy of teaming up “chef and small farmer”. Added value flows back to rural areas and contributes to poverty reduction.
CORPAPA provides Hatunpa with 16 different native potatoes. Hatunpa is putting native potatoes on the culinary map in Arequipa and is part of a broader movement to revitalize one of Peru’s greatest treasures which other chefs and restaurants have picked up on as well. It was a pleasure to talk with Cesar about his passion for native potatoes and enjoy the delicious dishes in Hatunpa.