Two years ago I travelled to Lima, Peru, for what I like to call a "food trip" - essentially one week where my sole purpose was to enjoy South American gastronomy.

I spent the week eating out for every meal; with a mix of markets stalls, high-end restaurants, and even a few locals' homes. Lima has an incredible food scene that highlights regional ingredients, so it's the perfect place to go back to your roots and enjoy local flavours.

Giulio Sturla was the chef at the recently closed Roots restaurant, renowned for its flavours of in-season, often foraged, and sustainable produce. Photo / Supplied
Giulio Sturla was the chef at the recently closed Roots restaurant, renowned for its flavours of in-season, often foraged, and sustainable produce. Photo / Supplied

I call New Zealand my home, and while in Lima I realised that although we have many differences, we are connected by how we experience food. Kiwis and Peruvians have an appreciation for local ingredients, and both encourage foraging practices to eat off the land.

Another similarity is in the abundance of ingredients. This trip was a great reminder to get to know your own backyard and learn about what can be foraged; think wild mushrooms, herbs, and the seafood all around us that can be sustainably sourced.

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One of my favourite dishes in Lima was a ceviche with locally sourced sole and octopus, two ingredients also available in New Zealand.

- Giulio Sturla was the chef at the recently closed Roots restaurant, renowned for its flavours of in-season, often foraged, and sustainable produce.
Sole and octopus ceviche

Kiwis and Peruvians have an appreciation for local ingredients, and both encourage foraging practices to eat off the land, says Sturla. Photo / Supplied
Kiwis and Peruvians have an appreciation for local ingredients, and both encourage foraging practices to eat off the land, says Sturla. Photo / Supplied

Fresh sole or flounder fillet
Octopus, cooked
Fresh lime juice
Red onion
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel a few layers off the onion. That way you get the sweet flavour without having a too-strong smell of onion. Cut them julienne style.
2. The fish has to be super-fresh. Cut the fish fillets into strips, sashimi-style. Cut the octopus into small pieces and add to the fish.
3. Add freshly squeezed lime juice, salt, and pepper. Add the onions and mix everything. You have to follow your gut - find the right balance between the salt and the lime.
Serve immediately

* You'll find fresh octopus at Auckland Fish Market or your local fishmonger.