Beleaguered Los Angeles chef Ricardo Zarate — who was abruptly ousted from his restaurants Picca, Mo-Chica, and Paiche in October 2014 — will soon release a cookbook. According to this Amazon listing, Zarate's first book, The Fire of Peru: Recipes and Stories from My Peruvian Kitchen, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, will hit shelves in October 2015 — despite the fact that his restaurants Mo-Chica and Paiche both permanently closed at the end of last year. Zarate's Amazon bio describes the chef as the "founding chef/owner" of the trio of Peruvian restaurants, and hints that Zarate is "now opening three more" concepts. LA-based food writer Jenn Garbee is the book's co-author; her official website describes the 288-page cookbook as one chronicling "modern Peruvian cuisine, with narrative storytelling and local culinary lore."
It's been an odd 14 months for Zarate, who was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2011. In late 2013, Zarate split from his longtime partner Stephane Bombet, taking his four restaurants with him and launching the newly named Zarate Restaurants portfolio. But by October of last year, the stunning news came that Zarate was no longer associated with the three restaurants he was best known for, and just two months later, both Mo-Chica and Paiche — plus another Zarate restaurant, Blue Tavern — would be permanently closed.
In December, Eater LA floated the rumor that Zarate was on a shortlist to operate a new Malibu restaurant. Could that be among the three concepts his book blurb teases?