Peruvian chef and international restauranteur Gastón Acurio is "retiring" from managing his flagship restaurant, Astrid y Gaston. According to the Peruvian Times, the 46-year-old chef is leaving the 20-year-old restaurant — which is currently ranked #18 in the world — to pursue other projects and to give "a new generation of chefs" a chance to develop. Head chef Diego Muñoz, who started working at the restaurant two years ago, will take over Acurio's duties.
In a Facebook message (translated), Acurio notes: "The years have gone by, and today it is time to take on new challenge." Acurio plans to start an expedition called Peru 2015 that involves "traveling throughout the country to small villages, meeting people and hearing their stories while searching for new food products." The chef would also like to "open a university and start a foundation to provide children with education scholarships." He also already involved with a cooking school in Peru that provides education for students with talent but not much money. It's a busy year for Acurio, who is also in the middle of writing his English cookbook debut on the topic of Peruvian food.