For millennia, Peru’s native peoples drew culinary inspiration from the country’s diverse regional ecologies. From Peru’s bountiful Pacific waters to the peaks and valleys of the Andes and the Amazon jungle basin, every region, every people, had their own traditions, recipes, tonics and techniques. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spain made Peru the political seat of its New World colonies. Spanish aristocracy populated the valleys of coastal Peru, primarily settling in the area now known as Lima. The Peruvian diet shifted dramatically to accommodate Spanish ingredients, recipes and traditions, including those of the Moorish Arabs who had occupied Spain and North Africa for the nearly seven hundred years previous. When Peru gained its independence from Spain in the 1820s, waves of immigrants arrived from China, Japan, France and Italy, bringing along the recipes and cooking techniques of their homelands. Today, Lima is considered one of the gastronomical capitals of the world, reflecting Peru’s complex, internationally influenced culinary history.
The eventual melding of Old and New World culinary customs gave rise to one of Peru’s most popular cuisines – la cocina Criolla. Andina’s kitchen emphasizes the brilliant flavors and cherished techniques of la cocina Criolla, while also introducing the contemporary principles of la cocina Novoandina, or Novo-Andean cooking. Novo-Andean cuisine aspires to revive native, pre-Colonial ingredients and techniques and incorporate them into creative, modern presentations of the highest international caliber. A passionate and tirelessly inquisitive spirit informs the creation of Andina’s menus, as we celebrate Peru’s long history, its current culinary renaissance, and the homegrown bounty of Oregon’s own farmers, ranchers and fishermen. Our kitchen team selects and prepares the freshest and most authentic ingredients available. From ocean to farms, Andina sources its ingredients both locally and in direct trade with a community of organic farmers in Chincha, Peru. Our goals are to serve delicious food in a beautiful setting and offer a genuine taste of Peruvian culture as expressed through its cuisine.
Dustin Koerner joined Andina’s culinary team in spring of 2015 from Austin, Texas. Koerner brings a depth of management experience from his leadership in many great kitchens throughout Texas, working with a wide variety of global cuisines, from Italian to Japanese. Koerner’s culinary career began at the early age of 14, when he got a job working at a restaurant in his hometown of Pilot Point, TX. After receiving a business degree from the University of North Texas, he moved to Dallas for culinary school. He gained experience in many of the city’s best restaurants, including Nonna, where during his tenure as Sous Chef, the restaurant was praised by Bon Appetit and the New York Times. Koerner’s most recent position in Austin at 2 Dine 4 Catering saw him leading a large culinary team as well as cooking intimate dinners for the Supper Friends dinner series where he was able to express his creative side. Koerner was drawn to Portland by the exciting outdoors and is looking forward to working in an award-winning kitchen!
OSCAR MARTIN ABANTO MERA
Oscar Martín Abanto was born in Trujillo, Peru, on the country’s northern coast - a region known for gastronomy. Cooking is a fundamental part of the Peruvian culture, but it wasn't until Abanto moved to Miami, FL that he began cooking professionally. He graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and finished his internship back in Peru before moving to New York to round out his training. Abanto moved to San Francisco in 2012 to work as Lead Line Cook at the Abbot’s Table, which was awarded a 3-star review by the San Francisco Chronicle Review and included on the list of the Best 100 Restaurants in the Bay Area, 2013. He most recently lead the charcuterie program at the Dirty Habit before moving to Portland to join Andina’s culinary team as Sous Chef in spring of 2015. Abanto is passionate about his native Peruvian cuisine and modern Latin American cooking, and has attended Mistura International Festival (Latin America’s largest culinary festival) three times in the past five years to continue his culinary education. Abanto is constantly inspired by new ingredients and is thrilled to return to Peruvian cuisine to explore Latin flavors in the kitchen at Andina.
Chessa Fait gives her mother credit for inspiring her to enter the world of pastry. Growing up in Medford, Oregon, Chessa and her sister learned how to cook, preserve fresh fruits and vegetables, and bake. She left home in 2009, landing in Chicago in the dead of winter to attend the French Pastry School, where she learned from some world famous chefs. After working in several restaurants, bakeries, and hotels to refine her knowledge and discover her niche, she happily moved back to the milder climate of Oregon and managed a small bakery in her hometown. In July of 2014 she moved to Portland to join the Andina team, where she can indulge her passion – making and eating ice cream. Her other sweet creations are no slouch, either! Chessa enjoys exploring new places, making meals, and having game nights with close friends and family.
KITCHEN STAFF, 2015