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Humbling and moving, Victor Rojas’s inspirational life story and rise to the top proves that anyone, no matter where they come from or what they do, can reach for the stars and achieve success. Victor is living his dream today as the owner his Peruvian restaurant, Inti. Born and raised in Huánuco, Peru, Rojas worked his way up as a small-time chef at various restaurants, taking any opportunity that came his way to gain as much exposure as he could. Having worked at several restaurants primarily as an apprentice of the executive chefs, Rojas became highly knowledgeable and well versed in Peruvian culinary tradition. Understanding the specialized nature of Peruvian cuisine, Rojas knew he boasted a unique skill set, one that not many possessed. Taking full advantage of his distinct culinary expertise, Rojas took the ambitious step up from Huánuco to The Big Apple and eventually established Inti in 2012 to give New Yorkers a taste of authentic and traditional Peruvian fare. Having recruited several members of the staff from his native Peru, Rojas successfully trained his chefs teaching them traditional Peruvian recipes, as well as his personal ones.
With a discretely quiet, soothing atmosphere, the mood at Inti is one of serenity and placidity. An elegant, stylish and sophisticated décor paves the way for unique local Peruvian furniture such as mirrors and dressers to intriguingly blend South American touches to this chic space. Vibrant yellow walls add flare and life to this already effervescent, gleaming décor. A long, narrow layout with a slick bar at the back of the restaurant make Inti a great spot to come in to have a drink on nibble on some authentic Peruvian small bites while doing so. Enjoy a laidback lunch or dinner and order a nice wine to go with it from their vast collection.
Being a coastal country, Peru is known for its nutritious, seafood heavy cuisine. Using seafood suppliers from all over the world, Inti guarantees the freshest octopus, fish, shrimp and calamari based dishes packed with authentic Peruvian spices and flavors. The authenticity of the dishes is inspired by the fact that owner Victor Rojas only uses condiments and spices that are imported from his native Peru, such as their red chili pepper and Peruvian corn or Choclo, that cannot be found in its true form in America. Rojas’s persistence to work with only these imported condiments stems from his desire to ensure his dishes remain true to their Peruvian roots, as seen in one of Inti’s best-sellers, the Ceviche Mixto. The Peruvian corn in the Ceviche Mixto, a critical component of the dish, is remarkably unique and distinctive from typical American corn. Significantly larger in size and paler in color, the Peruvian corn has a starchier, heftier texture in comparison to the average American corn’s sweet taste, enhancing the traditional rich Peruvian flavors the Ceviche Mixto boasts. In spite of it being common in numerous Latin countries, ceviche was invented by the Peruvians, so don’t miss out on Inti’s Ceviche Mixto to experience this truly authentic Peruvian delicacy. Featuring fresh fish chunks, shrimp, octopus, calamari marinated in lime juice mixed with red onions, cilantro, ricoto hot pepper served with sweet potatoes and corn, the Ceviche Mixto has a delectably citrusy edge to it and stands out for its wonderfully bold, distinct flavor. Other recommended dishes at Inti include Latin favorites such as their chicken empanadas, which are best enjoyed with the signature homemade sauce. The Tamal Inti, or tamales, which are steam cooked in Peruvian yellow corn dough and filled with chicken, yellow pepper and olives served with creole salad are also to die for.
Owner Victor Rojas’s manager and right hand man, Ronald, also from Peru, ensures everything at Inti runs smoothly and succinctly. The menu consists of several traditional Peruvian and Latin delicacies that may require explaining, for which Ronald and his team are expertly trained. Service on the whole moves quickly with appetizers prepared very soon and seafood entrees typically taking slightly longer.