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Enrique Servan, a Peruvian chef who conquered Germany with his food

13:17 | Berlin (Germany), Jun. 3.

Luis Enrique Servan, 51, is a renowned Peruvian chef based in Germany. He was born in Lima, but from a very young age, he looked for new opportunities. He moved to Berlin when he was just 18 years old.

Once in Germany, he discovered his love for cooking and his restaurant, which he called "Serrano" (from the mountains). 

Today, his eatery is among the top 10 best foreign restaurants in Germany.

It's safe to say that the police lost a brave Peruvian, but the cuisine has found an ace in the kitchen. 


From a very young age, life led him down a path paved with major challenges, but also satisfactions, which made him a benchmark for international cuisine and an example for young people who are passionate about gastronomy.

Enrique Servan was born in the district of Jesus Maria. He is the son of Honorato Servan, a brave native of Chachapoyas, and Virginia Triveño, an Apurimac-born woman, who lavished love on him and his seven siblings. 

A new life

In 1986, Enrique graduated from high school and his first dream was to become a police officer like his father. However, different events forced him to give it up. 

After that, he decided to leave Peru. The opportunity came when he met a neighbor who lived in Berlin, and the latter encouraged him to travel. Enrique's family did everything possible to buy the tickets for him and his sister, Vicky. So, their lives changed in March 1989.

Tough start

Starting a new life in another country shaped the character of Enrique and his sister. They did not speak the local language and got a first unpleasant surprise when they arrived.

"When we arrived at the apartment, this person lived with four other men. My sister and I had to sleep on the floor, in a house with no bathroom and no shower," he said.

Fortunately, a Peruvian national told him that a restaurant was looking for an assistant. He did not think twice about it and took on the job as dishwasher. While washing dishes, he thought that this would be his destiny: the kitchen. Thus, he decided to study gastronomy in a culinary school in Berlin.


His first restaurant

In 2005, he invested everything he had in his first restaurant —of Spanish food— called "Pata Negra," a term used in Spain to indicate that something has really good quality. 

The fame of this eatery was such that it received guests such as Michael Jackson, Nicole Kidman, Placido Domingo, as well as the King of Spain and the master of modern cuisine Ferran Adria.

However, this dream did not last long, as the culinary project did not move forward due to financing issues.

In 2010, he decided to cash in all his savings once again to open a new restaurant with Peruvian flavor, "Serrano," which is one of the top 10 restaurants in Germany.

Success

The beginning was not a bed full of roses. The restaurant faced financial issues until a journalist invited him to participate in one of the most watched cooking reality shows on German television.

"Mein Lokal, Dein Lokal" (My Restaurant, Your Restaurant) brought together chefs from Cologne, Hamburg, Munich, and Berlin, who competed with one another. Servan won the first place and the trophy of the program on January 16, 2015.


"Serrano" has attracted famous guests such as Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, Peruvian soccer player Claudio Pizarro, Venezuelan musician Gustavo Dudamel, and Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon, as well as many German actors and elite athletes.

(END) NJC/RES/RMB/MVB

Published: 6/3/2021
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