(Originally published August 22, 2014 on Examiner.com).
Editorial note: since this article was written Chef Ricardo Zarate has left all of the restaurants he was associated with in this article.
Thursday night on a closed off Grand Avenue in front of the Disney Concert Hall, the 4th Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival 2014 presented as its opening night event “Ultimates Bites of L.A.” These event featured bites from many of L.A.’s top chefs as well as bites from several of the other celebrity chefs participating int he activities over the next few days.
One of the chefs participating from Los Angeles was Chef Ricardo Zarate, who has a growing empire of restaurants in the region including Paiche, Picca and Mo-Chica. For Thursday’s activities, Chef Zarate served a yellowtail tiradito. According to Chef Zarate, tiradito is a very traditional Peruvian dish. The dish he served at Ultimate Bites was an upscaled version of this traditional dish that included an aji amarillo leche de tigre sauce and a dressing. The yellowtail is imported from Japan through local supplier LA Fish
Zarate stated, “Tiradito is a thinly sliced fish. The dish is called tiradito since in Spanish tiradito means to throw. The reason the dish is called to throw is because when fisherman catch the fish while sitting on rocks in the sea, they would cut the into tiny slices, throw it on the hot rocks to sear the fish, and then squeeze lemon juice on it before eating it. And that’s where the name of the dish tiradito comes from to throw. So you cut it very thin.”
Zarate also noted that Tiradito we have in all of the restaurants, but for Ultimate Bites, his yellowtail tirado was respresenting Paiche. The dish was representative of that restaurant because this dish represents both Peruvian and Japanese flavors together. In Peru with its sizable Japanese community, Peru has a big Japanese influence too.
Follow Chef Zarate on twitter @ricardomzarate and please visit him at one of his restaurants in the LA Region to enjoy more of his food that represents all the flavors of his home country of Peru