It was an eye-opening trip to the Peruvian section of the Amazon rainforest that inspired Sushisamba executive chef Cláudio Cardoso’s latest menu. Available for one night only – on Monday June 19 – the five-course Into the Amazon: A Dining Adventure (£125 per person) will provide Cardoso’s unique take on the food that the indigenous communities cooked for him, and all proceeds will go to UK charity Cool Earth, which works to help protect the world’s rainforests.
Taking place in Sushisamba’s private lounge, the evening will feature tuna spaghetti – a tataki version served with tomato, onion and achiote – and Cerdo de la Selva – pork belly, plaintains, passion fruit, and Asháninka coffee (the Asháninka is Peru’s largest indigenous group, and now directly supplies Sushisamba with coffee beans and cacao).
Other ingredients on the night will also have come straight from the communities Cardoso met, and will be combined with trademark Sushisamba flavours in dishes such as fresh water nigiri steamed in banana leaf, and pulpo tiradito (octopus with Peruvian potato and olive oil caviar), all paired with Peruvian wines. A dish called Yuca Plantation, drawing on flavours from Peru's Yuca Plantation, will offer a culinary interpretation of the area’s landscape through sweet potato, yuca, Asháninka sesame and smoke emulsion.
Desserts will include a Welcome to the Rainforest pudding comprised of Asháninka chocolate, coffee, vanilla, pistachio, macadamia nut and sugar cane.
“I didn’t pick this cuisine, it picked me,” says Cardoso. “The way we select our produce and what inspires us is something that comes from education, but also from the heart – I really felt this food. It is up to all of us to make sure we are preserving the planet for the future generations, and by working together on supporting initiatives like Cool Earth we can help producers and farmers. It’s something very small, but we can have a huge impact.”