Haytu at Jorge Chávez International Airport was a richly deserving winner of the FAB Award for New Food & Beverage Concept of the Year 2019. Retail Services General Manager Alejandro Serra Sarria explains the concept and what the award means to them.
Q. What is the Haytu concept?
A. Haytu means thread in Quechua, the language of the Inca empire.
Our name reflects the thread which connects two cultures, Japan and Peru. Through the ocean and their love for outstanding cuisine, they both take advantage of the freshness and diversity of their seafood.
Nikkei cuisine originated within the Japanese immigrant community that arrived in Peru in the 19th century. It is the authentic fusion of Peruvian and Japanese culinary techniques, rooted in the superior native ingredients of both countries.
Nikkei cuisine originated within the Japanese immigrant community that arrived in Peru in the 19th century.
It is the authentic fusion of Peruvian and Japanese culinary techniques, rooted in the superior native ingredients of both countries.
Q. Why do you think it deserved a FAB Award?
A. Real innovation lies in the concept, it’s the only ‘barra cevichera’ that coexists with Japanese cuisine – the itamae and the cevichero work as a team using the same raw ingredients, but the results are two completely different preparations.
Haytu features space efficiency, as we offer a menu without the traditional kitchen setting; everything is assembled at the front ‘barra’ with high-end technology and the best selection of food service suppliers.
It is designed to show the customer how we work on fish; we prepare, right there in plain sight, what the customer will eat. The customer will talk to the ‘itamae/cevichero’ throughout their stay and that’s a one-on-one experience.
Haytu is an open kitchen and customers can see how food is prepared, providing a superior cultural sharing experience.
Q. Were you surprised when you won?
A. As F&B specialist airport operators, we are confident in the added value of our format, especially in an airport, operating in a reduced space with a high speed of service. So no surprise there, but we were also aware of the global competition we faced, namely Autogrill, SSP, etc. in airports such as Hong Kong, New York, London, Los Angeles and Barcelona.
Q. What does the FAB award mean to you?
A. It means we are on the right track! We expect that this award will open doors in the airports that we want to operate in in the near future. We compare this with the award we received in 2012 for 365 Deli when we first entered the Brazilian market, and we won.
Q. Is it important that a restaurant from Peru has won such an international award?
A. Of course! It is once more a reassurance of the recognition received not so long ago that Peru is the best culinary destination in the world.
Marcel Rodriguez (left) and Alejandro Serra Sarria celebrate a win for Haytu at the FAB Awards 2019 with The Moodie Davitt Report President Dermot Davitt (right)