Last March 15 was a historic day; a day like that, in 1493,Cristóbal Colón landed in the port of Palos after his first voyage to America. And digging into history, many events have happened on this particular date. But last March 15 was also a historic day for another reason: my great friend Bernardo Roca-Rey left this world.
Honestly, it will be hard for me to think of this day as a sad one from now on, because if it is true that “the good ones leave young”, Bernardo, 77, should have left decades ago. But let me tell you who Bernardo Roca-Rey was and why he would need a collection of several volumes to permeate the spirit of this man whom I could call “friend”. Bernardo was many things in his life, perhaps too many. Bernardo made history in Peruvian journalism, through the media group he led for years, having created, among many things, the newspaper with the largest circulation in Latin America, and the newscast that uncovered the largest case of corruption in the country's history. But Bernardo was also the "father of New Andean cuisine" and to a great extent the culprit that today many people around the world know where Peru is on the map thanks to its gastronomy. It was he who created the hotbed of chefs that today appear in magazines and Netflix documentaries, who learned about the revolution in Peruvian gastronomy in the kitchen of his daughter Hirka's restaurant, "Pantagruel." Because that was Bernardo, a revolutionary. It was he who created “Mistura”, the largest gastronomic fair in Latin America, and the reason why we met, because later the firm that I lead developed its franchise, a project that would remain unfinished due to lack of government support.
We met for business, but Bernardo “client” was quickly left behind, and I met Bernardo “friend”, Bernardo “adviser”, Bernardo “confidant”, and I was able to enjoy innumerable banquets in his company, some cooked by himself , and tastings, and trips and anecdotes that will forever be brushstrokes of color in my life. Today there is no crying, just celebrating. Celebrate the departure of a "great", a farewell that will not be forever, but just a see you soon.