Raymi is one of Richard Sandoval’s epic Latin restaurants in New York City. The Peruvian restaurant is headed up by chef Eric Ramirez. Ramirez studied at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and quickly gained experience at some of the top restaurants in Philly, including West Washington Square and Alma de Cuba. Ramirez then relocated to the great NYC, where he became a sous chef at Eleven Madison Park, followed by chef de cuisine at Irving Mill. In 2009, Ramirez explored Nuevo Latino cuisine as the chef de cuisine at Nuela, which earned high marks from top publications. Last year, Eric Ramirez helped build Raymi, where he sought to create a New York version of Peruvian cuisine. The chef made many trips to Peru, where he learned from chef Jaime Pesaque and the result at Raymi is delicious Peruvian cuisine that cannot be found elsewhere in the city. We caught up with the successful chef and chatted with him about his move to New York City, what he’s learned from famous chefs, and more!
Why did you make the move to NYC?
We all have aspirations of being the best in our field so for me, if there was any place to do that in the U.S. it’s New York City.
What makes Raymi different from other Peruvian restaurants in the city?
It’s the approach we take on Peruvian cuisine that makes us different. It’s the attention to detail and the skill level we cook at that separates us from other Peruvian restaurants.
You have worked with some of the best chefs in the industry. What is the most important thing you have learned from them?
The most important thing I learned on my journey was to have respect for what you do and to cook responsibly.
You are eating lunch at Raymi: what do you order?
When I have lunch at Raymi, my favorite is the Pan con Chicharron. It’s a crispy pork shoulder sandwich with sweet potato, spicy mayo and red onions dressed in lime juice.
Tell us about the new summer menu. How does it differ from the old menu? What’s your favorite item on it?
The summer menu is more focused than the menu before. It’s a lot smaller and it’s more for sharing. It gives the guest the opportunity to try more dishes. As for my favorite, that’s hard. It all depends on what mood I’m in and what I feel like eating.
How do the cocktails at Raymi play into the menu? Which is your favorite?
My favorite cocktail is the Chilcano. Chilcano on the cocktail menu allows the patron a choice of: flavor / house pisco / splash ginger ale, Tradicional Lychee Passion Fruit, or Spiced Pear Mango Cranberry.
Image via Serious Eats.