PERU: Cafetín El Moshe: Location, Location...


Novelist Daniel Alarcón takes lunch in a high-security Peruvian prison.

For Carlos Luján Martínez, it’s not hard to imagine the day when someone shows up at the high-security prison he temporarily calls home just to taste his most famous dish: Spaghetti a lo Luján. He says this with a playful smile as if such a thing were obvious. As he sees it, the dish that bears his name is light, tasty, but above all, addictive. The recipe comes from Brazil, stolen — Luján uses this very word, grinning ironically — from a woman he met on one of his many trips throughout Latin America and the United States. The dish might seem simple, but it’s all in the preparation: thin noodles, a splash of olive oil, green onion, red pepper, chicken breast, salt, parsley. Not anyone can make it, and like any good chef, Luján won’t reveal his secrets. He offers me a taste. Delicious.

Daniel Alarcón
Publication date: 
January 13, 2009
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article