Chef Luigi Goytizolo talks about his Peruvian roots and showcasing his new culinary creations at IKA.

You started your career as a teenager at 17, what inspired you to become a chef?
My grandma, she was a fantastic cook, in fact she was the best! She supported my dream of becoming a chef and she literally inspired me. I remember on the weekends, we would wake up at 5am to go to the local farm and seafood market, bake tarts and make handmade anchovy pizza, lasagne and octopus with pesto. So, I owe her everything, and it’s thanks to her I am where I am today.

IKA is renowned for showcasing some of the best South American cuisines, what can diners expect next on the menu?
We are working on the new menu right now. Our focus is on creating a sensory experience for our guests and to take them to unknown corners of South America. I want them to taste original flavours and experience what it’s like to be there. When they try my food, I want to transport guests to the small towns in Peru, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil. I will keep delivering the best of South America but with my personal touch.

What is your signature must-try dish?
I will say Ceviche because it’s in my Peruvian blood. However, árroz con pato (Duck with coriander rice) will be the signature dish on this new menu. It’s a slow-cooked duck, with coriander rice, huancaina (a chili cheese sauce) foam and baby vegetables. This is going to be our ‘must-try’ dish at IKA.

This is your first time in the Middle East. How have you found it, and how have you been exploring Qatar?
To be honest, it was not what I was expecting. I’m quite impressed with everything here! I’m pretty happy with the food quality, the level of the restaurants, the local gastronomy and the quality of life, I feel really safe here. Of course, there is an entirely different culture and reality here, but I adjusted pretty fast and I’m happy with my new life. I feel that Qatar has given me a lot, and it’s my time to give something back with all the passion I can put into IKA. I explore a lot in Doha, I’m a beach and pool person, and the beaches here are stunning. The malls are insane, I love the Corniche and Souq Waqif is a beautiful place to get lost and smoke hubbly bubbly. I tend to eat out a lot and I’m impressed with the local food. It’s a fantastic city and I wish I had a little more time to get to know it all. I am sure after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 I will have more time to discover it properly.✤