Born in Lima, Peru, ‘the godfather of Peruvian cuisine’ Ricardo Zarate is synonymous with indigenous South American foods. Immaculately executed and fused with his underlying passion, drive and kitchen ingenuity, Zarate’s cuisine has earned him widespread critical acclaim and praise from media and consumers alike. Zarate opened his first restaurant, Mo-Chica, in downtown LA in 2009 and shortly followed that with a pop-up restaurant, Test Kitchen, where he offered consumers a new dining experience weekly from a rotating roster of high profile guest chefs.
With Zarate’s cuisine beginning to shape a large following, in 2011 Zarate introduced the modern Peruvian cantina, Picca. It was recognized as one of the GQ ‘best new restaurants’ and a Conde Nast Traveler ‘Hot Table’, all within one year of opening. It was also in this year that Zarate was named the prestigious honor of Food & Wine ‘Best New Chef’. In April 2013, Zarate opened Paiche, a Japanese izakaya-style Peruvian seafood restaurant located in Marina Del Rey, consequently named one of Esquire’s ‘Best New Restaurants’.
Zarate's most recent Los Angeles opening was Rosaliné in West Hollywood, which quickly rose through the ranks of prestigious L.A.-based restaurants. Topping numerous “best of” lists, Rosaliné has earned a spot on award-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold’s “101 Best Restaurants” list, Thrillist’s “Best New Restaurants in 2017,” and Eater’s “Most Beautiful Restaurants of 2017,” among others. In 2018, Zarate reincarnated his LA pop-up, Once, introducing his signature, elevated Peruvian cuisine to the Las Vegas Strip at The Palazzo in Spring 2018. Describing his newest concept, Zarate says, “Once is the new wave of Peruvian cuisine that combines modern Japanese elements with traditional Peruvian staples that I experienced growing up in Lima. It will remind people about the extensive history, not only of Peru, but of the melting pot of cultures that has evolved Peruvian food over centuries.”