Pisco Mar brings Peruvian food to Charleston

Chef Esteban Diaz opened an authentic Peruvian restaurant, Pisco Mar, in Port of Call Food & Brew Hall downtown Nov. 11 to offer an intimate dining experience. Diaz grew up in Chiclayo, Peru, a small coastal town about 500 miles north of Lima. He spent his childhood in the kitchen […]

Chef Esteban Diaz opened an authentic Peruvian restaurant, Pisco Mar, in Port of Call Food & Brew Hall downtown Nov. 11 to offer an intimate dining experience.

Diaz grew up in Chiclayo, Peru, a small coastal town about 500 miles north of Lima. He spent his childhood in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother before formally studying Peruvian cuisine when he was 22. Soon after, he opened his own restaurant in Chiclayo. It was a successful bar and lounge-style restaurant for 14 years until Peru’s strict Covid-19 regulations left him with no choice but to shut it down.

Port of Call owners Ryan Kaufmann and Thomas Berry met Diaz during a trip to Peru.

“[Our friends] kept stressing how many Peruvians were in Charleston and [they] found it mind-boggling that there was no authentic Peruvian cuisine [here],” Kaufmann said. “So they kept bringing it up to us and educating us on what real Peruvian cuisine is.” 

Kaufmann and Berry immersed themselves in the flavors of the region when friends arranged a culinary tour for them in Lima earlier this year and connected them with Diaz. The chef led Kaufmann and Berry on a whirlwind culinary journey, introducing them to as much Peruvian food as possible, dining at five restaurants per day, Kaufmann said.

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