Chef Q&A: Ricardo Zarate of Rosaline
Zarate creates Peruvian dishes with a twist
“My goal is to make people fall in love with Peru through my food.” – Chef Ricardo Zarate of Rosaliné
Chef Ricardo Zarate is known in the Los Angeles dining scene for his previous projects—Picca, Mo-Chica, and Paiche—where he introduced Peruvian cuisine with his own personal twist. With Rosaline, he brings his latest creations in Peruvian cuisine to West Hollywood. Here you will find an open charcoal grill that infuses smoky, rich, earthy flavors into Zarate’s inventive dishes.
We caught up with Chef Zarate to discuss the inspiration behind Rosaliné and California’s influence in his cooking.
How do you describe the restaurant?
We designed Rosaliné to mimic the streets of Peru, with bright colors, rustic wood accents and lots of beautiful natural light. When you come here, you feel loved and relaxed, like you would when you’re with family.
The menu is a Peruvian Nikkei concept, which is the blend of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine and culinary techniques. A lot of people don’t realize the influence Japan has had over Peru for several hundred years and I really wanted to capture that with Rosaliné’s menu. The most unique dish on the menu, to me, is the Chaufa Paella, because it’s a Peruvian fried rice made paella style, demonstrating another major culture’s influence on Peru; China.
What’s your earliest memory of cooking?
I don’t quite remember how old I was, but I was little enough that I still had to use a step to reach the counter, but I do remember the first thing I ever actually cooked was this dessert with my dad. We call it Chufla, but it’s a brownie with rice pudding. It’s so good!
What’s your favorite dish at the restaurant?
The Juane de Cancho – it’s a pork ossobuco, adobo, garbanzo soft tamale, and hardboiled egg all wrapped in banana leaf.
How has being in the Los Angeles area challenged you as a chef?
The most challenging part about being in Los Angeles is that it’s hard to find ingredients that are indigenous to Peru. I have a lot of help from local farmers that are helping me grow certainly ingredients here now, but there are still quite a few that we can only get in Peru.
What would you say is the importance of food in our culture?
I think it’s important for people to know what they are eating, where it’s coming from and how it’s sourced because responsible sourcing is so crucial to our environment. If people really thought about the lack of sustainability, they would be worried about what food will look like in the future.
8479 MELROSE AVENUE, WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA 90069