Chef Ciro Watanabe has passed away

Ciro Watanabe, one of Latin America’s leading chefs, has passed away unexpectedly in Lima, Peru.Culinary world is in mourning as Peruvian-Japanese chef Ciro Watanabe died at the age of 39 on the last Friday night, of an abdominal hemorrhage. The Chilean food chronicler Daniel Greve confirmed the news on his Instagram account.

Ciro Watanabe
“You don’t know what it costs to write this down, but how necessary it is to accept your departure… There aren’t two Ciro Watanabes here or up there. There isn’t and won’t be. Your sticky laughter, your generosity and your infinite talent (however seasoned in those fingers) are a unique mix.”
Daniel Greve

The much-loved Peruvian chef of Japanese ancestry was one of the leading lights of Nikkei cuisine, and was in the process of building a gastronomic presence across South America, from Peru and Colombia, to Chile and Argentina. The chef, who had achieved so much in his all too short life, will be sorely missed, while his legacy will live on. Chef Watanabe was the image of this renowned Peruvian restaurant chain, which in the country is known as OSK Peru, one of the most prestigious restaurants in the gastronomic scene in recent years. He returned a few months ago from Chile, where he moved in 2009 to promote Nikkei cuisine which is a fusion of Peruvian and Japanese cuisine. There he opened the restaurant Osaka, which has stores in Buenos Aires, Quito and Bogotá. In the 2019 edition of the 50 Best Latam 2019 event, Osaka from Santiago de Chile was again present at the ranking; ranked 44th. They also stood out in this list Peruvians of the restaurants Central, Maido, Osso, Isolina, Astrid and Gastón, Kjolle, Rafael, La Mar, Mil, Malabar and Mayta.

Chefs performance in the Chilean franchise of Osaka made this restaurant be in the list of the 50 Best Restaurants in Latin America several times. He also made a career in Chilean television, in addition to collaborating on projects to implement healthy eating in the country’s public schools alongside with Junaeb (National School Aid and Scholarship Board).

“We regret the departure of chef Ciro Watanabe, who was a close contributor to the Junaeb School Food Program. Thank you, Ciro for being part of this challenge and working to make richer preparations for children in Chile,”
School Food Program

Chef Ciro Watanabe had returned to Lima to continue his personal projects and due to the coronavirus pandemic and border closure, he stayed in the capital.