Victor Albisu may have been born in northern Virginia, but he seems “born” with Latin food in his blood. Victor’s mother is Peruvian, his father is Cuban; one grandfather was a baker; and two aunts owned their own restaurants in Miami – Latin food was central to his upbringing. In fact, he doesn’t have a single childhood memory that doesn’t involve some delectable Latin cooking or other. Then he went to le Cordon Bleu. But that’s getting ahead of the story. Victor spent every summer through his teens with family in Miami, pressing his first sandwiches at age five, mastering steaks a la plancha by seven, and paying close attention as his grandfather killed, gutted, and roasted whole pigs and caught, cleaned, and fried whole fish; while his grandmother made the rice and beans, empanadas and croquettes. Back at home, his mother, a great cook in her own right and owner of a Latin grocery store, reinforced his culinary bent. In high school, Victor apprenticed with the Argentine and Uruguayan butchers at his mother’s shop. “Beef in Argentina is like wine in France,” he explains, “the style of butchering is distinctive, and the trade is highly respected.” Working six days a week, often until 9 o’clock at night, he learned not only about cutting meat, but making chorizo (sausages) and matambres (stuffed meats) and just about everything else about the Argentine meat culture. Victor’s family had always promoted a lively interest in international politics, and when he went off to George Mason University, he planned to make that his career. In five years, he completed two degrees, but after graduation it took just a few years working with international contractors for USAID to learn that the theoretical side of international affairs interested him much more than the practical. So at age 24, he sold everything, moved to Paris, and enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu. He received his basic, intermediate and superior diplomas in cuisine, pastry, and wine, performing his internship at Arpège, a 3-star Michelin restaurant. “There I was living in the thick of Les Halles, keeping restaurant hours and woken at six every morning by a fishmonger yelling about scallops – I loved every minute of it.” Back in the states, Victor was hired as Executive Sous Chef under David Craig at The Tabard Inn, moving with him to La Bergerie in Alexandria, Virginia. From there, he went on to work at Washington’s 701, Ardeo, and Bardeo. He then became Chef de Cuisine at Ceiba restaurant and is currently pursuing his own ventures.
How to Make Rocoto Relleno
Chef Victor Albisu demonstrates how to make Rocoto Relleno.
This expert: 354,875 views
How to Make Rocoto Relleno
1 1/2 clove of garlic
1/2 a red onion
2 tablespoons of pepper sauce
1/4 cup of golden raisins
1/4 cup of black olives
2 hardboiled eggs
Pepper jack cheese
5 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of white wine
1 teaspoon of rocoto chili paste
1. Add the olive oil to a hot pan. Saute the chopped red onions and garlic. Add the diced tomato and saute for a couple of minutes.
2. Add the pork and fresh ground beef to the saute pan. Season with cumin and salt.
3. When the meat is finished browning, season with pepper and add golden raisins and black olives. Continue to cook at high heat. Add parsley, cilantro and pepper sauce. Turn it down to a medium heat adn allow it to cook for 20 more minutes.
4. Add white wine to a small pan and place it on medium heat. Add the rocoto paste. When the wine has reduced by half, add the heavy cream. Let it simmer.
5. Seed and de-vein the rocoto chilies. Stuff the chilies with the meat mixture.
6. Quarter the hard boiled eggs and place them on top of the stuffed chilies. Sprinkle pepper jack cheese over top. Place the rocoto rellenos on a greased pan.
7. Place the pan in the broiler and allow it to cook until the cheese is melted.
8. Plate the rocoto relleno and spoon the rocoto crema over top. Garnish with cilantro and parsley and serve.
Victor Albisu: Hi my name is Victor Albisu and I am a classically trained chef. I trained in Europe and came back to clip all of my heritage and my training together. Today were going to be touching on approving side of my heritage which is a dish called Rocoto Rellenos. The more of you can say that very quickly, its a traditional dish using traditional ingredients from Peru. Basically we take a very spicy Rocoto pepper cut it in half, we are getting them preserved, so we are not going to cooking them. Were going to cut them in half, stuff them, cover them with cheese and flash them in the oven. It is a delicious spicy dish. Follow me to my kitchen and lets get started.