Pedro Miguel Schiaffino Wins American Express Icon Award 2019

- A researcher of the Peruvian Amazon, Schiaffino is a pioneer of rainforest-to-table cuisine with more than a decade of work supporting its indigenous communities

- The chef and owner of Lima-based restaurants Malabar and Ámaz will be recognized at the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants 2019 awards ceremony on 10th October in Buenos Aires-

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, Sept. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, chef and owner of Malabar and Ámaz restaurants in Lima, Peru, has been honoured with the American Express Icon Award 2019. The prestigious recognition, presented by Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants, celebrates an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the restaurant industry and has used their profile as a chef to raise awareness and drive positive change.

(PRNewsfoto/Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants)

Schiaffino is best known for his pioneering culinary exploration of the Amazon rainforest, through which he introduced Amazonian techniques and produce such as ají dulce, cupuazú fruit and paiche fish to Lima and the wider Latin American gastronomic scene. Such efforts have helped reverse the effects of overfishing and allowed indigenous communities to expand the value chain of their ingredients. Today – taking into account the region's current challenges – Schiaffino continues to shed light on the importance of preserving the Amazon through a sustainable approach to its resources.

"The biodiversity and indigenous communities of my country are two of my greatest inspirations. We can talk about individual icons, but I also think an icon can be a whole people, a whole community or indigenous community," said Schiaffino. "I'm humbled to be given a platform to help people see the Amazon differently."

Schiaffino will be recognised for his contributions at Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants 2019 awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, on Thursday, 10th October, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is the first year the event programme has been hosted in Argentina, following previous editions in Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

"Pedro Miguel Schiaffino embodies what it means to be a culinary icon. He has transformed the local gastronomic experience of a nation, all while re-valuing one of its vital cultures," said William Drew, Director of Content for Latin America's Best 50 Restaurants.

Born in Lima on the Peruvian coast, Schiaffino connected with the biodiversity of his country at a young age. He studied at the Culinary Institute of America and later moved to Italy, where he trained in haute cuisine at the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners in Piedmont. Upon his return to Peru, he rediscovered one of the world's unique natural larders after a brief trip to the port city of Iquitos, a gateway to the tribal villages of the Amazon.

Today, Schiaffino regularly travels to the Amazon on food expeditions to explore native ingredients. In 2004, he opened Malabar restaurant, where he incorporates a variety of these products into the menu. By 2012, Schiaffino had opened Ámaz, a restaurant completely dedicated to studying and uncovering the biodiversity of the Amazon and preserving its ingredients.

"We are proud to honor Pedro Miguel Schiaffino with the American Express Icon Award," said Chris Cracchiolo, Senior Vice President, Global Loyalty & Benefits, American Express. "His innovative spirit and unwavering commitment to preserving the Amazon has long inspired the culinary world and brought individuals and communities together around his one-of-a-kind dining experiences."

Long one of Peru's most forward-thinking cooks, Schiaffino has led Malabar and Ámaz to regular spots on the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list, placing at No.39 and No.48 respectively in 2018, and has earned numerous global recognitions for his work with rainforest-to-table cuisine.

The American Express Icon Award 2019 is the second of three awards announced before the list of Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants is revealed in on 10th October. It follows the unveiling of Chile's Carolina Bazán as Latin Amercia's Best Female Chef 2019 last month, and precedes the upcoming announcement of the Miele One To Watch Award on 26th September.

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