Peruvian-born Chef Mauricio Huarcaya stumbled upon his culinary journey quite serendipitously. Driven by his fierce desire to secure a coveted position at a renowned restaurant, he took a leap of faith, embellished his resume, and successfully got the job. Little did he know that this small act of audacity would ignite a passionate love affair with the world of cooking. He was immediately captivated by the allure of the kitchen. The seamless choreography between chefs, the unwavering discipline, and an air of controlled chaos left an indelible impression.
Now, as the Executive Chef at the much-revered vegan eatery, The Green House, Chef Huarcaya's culinary prowess and finesse have reached new heights. His culinary journey, fueled by experiences working alongside James Beard Award winner Chef Mike Lata at Charleston's Fig, has gifted him with a profound understanding of flavor, creativity, and artistry.
His recent accomplishments speak volumes of his unstoppable ascent in the culinary realm. As a finalist in the 2023 NCRLA Chef Showdown, he battled against the state's crème de la crème of culinary talent, leaving an indelible mark on the palates of even the most discerning judges.
Today, with his culinary creations gracing the tables at The Green House, Chef Huarcaya is transforming the world of vegan gastronomy. With every inventive dish he crafts, he challenges conventional boundaries and redefines what it means to indulge in plant-based dining.
What makes The Green House unique?
The Green House is a sustainable restaurant and completely farm to table. We source all produce from local farmers and keep a close relationship with each farmer. When you walk into the restaurant you are immediately welcomed by the warmth of the environment and the hard work and dedication of the kitchen is prevalent through the food.
How would you describe your cooking style?
My culture and growing up around my grandmother’s cooking inspired the flavors that I incorporate into my cooking style.
What motivates & inspires you as a chef?
There are a few things that motivate me as a chef. The freedom of being able to create unique flavor combinations and dishes and the genuine reaction of enjoyment and excited of people eating my food inspires me everyday.
What do diners not know about you?
Most people that come to eat and enjoy the food I make aren’t aware of the hard work that goes into every dish they order. From the conception stage of the dish to its execution there is a lot of time, effort, and love that is poured into it. I always aspire to be unique, original, and creative, and this is shown through the food I create.
What is your current favorite dish on the Green House menu?
My personal favorite dish on my menu is the grilled lion’s mane. It consists of a potato pave with roasted tomatoes and onions and dressed with an aji amarillo sauce. There is a rich and savory lomo broth poured over top to marry all the componments together.
What is your favorite local produce?
My favorite local product is cherry tomatoes because they are so versitile and can be used to create almost anything.
Best Foodie City
Charleston, South Carolina.
What is your comfort food?
My abuelita used to make me arroz chaufa growing up in Peru and it remains my favorite dish to this day.
Best meal you've eaten?
In Peru there is this restauranrt that serves fresh ceviche by the beach. It brings me complete happiness, comfort, and flavors from home. It isn’t the fanciest or most expensive, but it brings me joy.
3 Songs on your playlist?
What advice would do you have for new chefs?
At the end of the day, no matter how experienced a chef you, there is something that can be learned every single day. It’s okay to put your ego aside and accept criticism and help from others.