Peru: Nauta fusion restaurant

Planet Berlin: Haute cuisine from Lima

Young innovator

Nauta head chef and co-founder, Diego Velazquez, is still only 27-years-old. Before he came to Berlin, he was trained in the fine art of Peruvian cookery in internationally renowned restaurants such as Astrid & Gastón in the capital, Lima.

Planet Berlin: Haute cuisine from Lima

A global leader

Peruvian cuisine is considered among the best in the world. The precipitous South American nation has a diverse culinary tradition drawn from multiple influences ranging from indigenous Inca, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and even Chinese cuisine. In Lima alone, three restaurants that have made it to the list of The World's 50 Best Restaurants, with two in the top ten.

Planet Berlin: Haute cuisine from Lima

The perfect setting

Nauta is named after a town on the edge of Amazon wilderness, a fact that is reflected in the interior design that includes palm prints on the walls. The red, light blue, lime green and gray color scheme is evocative of a traditional Peruvian tapestry, an authentic feel that is capped off by the open, red tiled kitchen where Diego Velazquez works.

Chef Diego Velazquez combines Peruvian and Japanese cuisine in his innovative Prenzlauer Berg restaurant. Nauta is named after a small town at the headwaters of the Amazon.

Tiles lead guests up from Kastanienallee into Peruvian restaurant Nauta. Even the steps are themed in an enchanting, yet subtle mosaic of red, light blue, lime green, and grey. The colors wind throughout the restaurant in bands that evoke traditional textiles and function as room dividers. Nauta is both efficient and comfortable at the same time. The eye is drawn to the open kitchen, which is tiled in bright red. And whirling about it since 2018 is 27-year-old Diego Velazquez from Lima.

The award-winning chef prepares his recipes to the sound of punk rock. Perhaps that's a remnant of his tumultuous youth; he even refers to himself as a former 'enfant terrible.' Diego Velazquez originally wanted to study film, but his mother forbade it. "The strict regimen of the kitchen taught me discipline," he says.

Just a few years ago, the Peruvian native left the gourmet scene in Lima to come to Germany. His first port of call was Frankfurt am Main, where he helped to establish La Cevi before moving to Berlin in 2018 on the recommendation of a friend and fellow gastronomer to open Nauta. His signature dishes are sophisticated, unique and wild.

Peru: Nauta - Move your cursor or finger for the 360° view

Penchant for punk

The shimmering mother-of-pearl plates host the most lively assortments of circles, smears, and colorful adornments. Velazquez's compositions are a liberal interpretation of the popular Nouvelle and Nikkei culinary movements, inspired by Japanese immigrants to Peru. The delectable entrecôte, for example, is accompanied by a tiny, pine-green egg powdered with plankton.

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Next to that roost two little balls of dough made from cassava, mango, and teriyaki sauce. The salmon sashimi is served in the form of a fabulously fresh ceviche, paired with a delicate yet potent sorbet made of purple corn. The fruity crème brûlée is accompanied by a tumble of Amazon fruits and sprinkled with fizzy Pop Rocks. Velazquez's penchant for punk rock is everywhere.

Author: Carolin Weidner

Kastanienallee 49
10119 Berlin-Mitte

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