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Ricardo Zarate

Chef Ricardo Zarate


5 Questions for L.A.-Based Chef, Ricardo Zarate

By Lesley Balla

Photo by Elizabeth Daniels


Get a taste of Peru as chef Ricardo Zarate dishes about his chic new spot in West Hollywood—Rosaliné.

Who is Rosaliné?
My mother. When I opened Paiche, those were the last few months before she passed away. I promised that the next thing I opened would be to honor her.

What should we know about Peruvian cooking?
It’s the Inca; the Spanish explorers; the Chinese and Japanese; plus, the exotic ingredients from the Andes and Amazon. It all contributes to the Peruvian stew.

What’s the hardest ingredient to get from Peru?
Huacutay, or black mint, an ingredient we use in Peru, used to be extremely hard for me to get here in the U.S. It's like a cross between basil and mint. Six years ago it was difficult; I'd have to get it shipped frozen. But now a local farmer grows it here.

What’s a dish that really exemplifies your new restaurant?
I serve a branzino, a Northern Peruvian dish that I learned how to make from an ex-girlfriend’s mother. You hang the fish to dry over the grill before cooking it. Rosaliné is about cooking with these memories.

What’s your favorite spot in the dining room?
Next to the open kitchen and ceviche bar. Growing up, I'd go to parties and end up talking to the mothers and grandmothers cooking in the kitchens. It reminds me of that.

8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, 323.297.9500