It’s not easy being the son. And though I only met him a couple times, I can see how it might be especially hard being the son of Vicente Furgiuele, owner of Lima’s Canta Rana. The elder Vicente is the kind of guy who fills any room, a marathon runner, a generous host with a flash of Italian temper. And he has a famous restaurant, an airy red-painted homage to the European bistros of his hometown Buenos Aires, which just happens to serve some of the most famous ceviche in Lima.
Vicente’s son is also called Vicente. And the son has a restaurant, though this one is not in an haute bistro on a desirable corner. It’s instead tucked in the back of the ramshackle Capullito market, down the alleyway, behind the chicken and chicle and flower vendors. The only roof is corrugated tin, the kitchen is cramped, exposed to the elements. The cooler for all the raw fish that comes in is literally just a rusting fridge, with some old decals that look like Vicente might have put them on when he was a teenager.
I don’t think Vicente the younger is too upset about any of this. Or if he is, he hides it behind his own work, which is the same work as his father: making classic Peruvian food. For us, he put together a dish called a causa limeña, a towering pile of yellow potato, avocado, fried fish.
And just as he finished, his father arrived just off camera, the classic moment of father checking up on son. But look at the tower of Causa that Vicente the younger made. The boy can cook. So watch out, fathers. Watch your arteries. Watch your bistros. The sons are gunning for you.