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Ricardo Zarate of Mo-Chica, Picca

This is 10 Things You Didn't Know About..., a new feature calling to attention lesser known facts about your favorite chefs.

Three years ago little known chef Ricardo Zarate opened Mo-Chica, a small Peruvian stall inside downtown's Mercado La Paloma. After a glowing Goldster review and several pop-up stints around town, Zarate began to make a name for himself as the father of modern Peruvian cuisine in Los Angeles, and just last year he was bestowed with the honor of Food & Wine's 2011 Best New Chef. Last summer, after partnering with restaurateur Stephane Bombet, Picca was born, and this past February the restaurant was named a semifinalist for the 2012 James Beard Awards. Zarate is still in the throes of opening a second more upscale branch of Mo-Chica on 7th Street downtown with likely more eateries to come in the future. Here now, a few fun facts on Martin, er, Ricardo Zarate:

[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]

1) He can do magic tricks.
2) His close friends and family know him as Martin.
3) He's the 11th of 13 children.
4) He lived in London for 12 years.
5) He has two culinary degrees- one from London and one from Peru.
6) He has worked as a purchasing agent in Lima.
7) He was born on the same day as the biggest earthquake in Lima's history.
8) He used to sell anticuchos on the streets of Lima.
9) He attended military school.
10) He worked as a teppanyaki chef at Benihana in London.

·All Ricardo Zarate Coverage [~ELA~]


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