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Chef Chat: Llama Inn's Erik Ramirez on Peru, Williamsburg, and the Art of Stoner Food

Is Peru for you? If you don’t yet know the answer and/or if you didn’t answer “yes,” [insert expression of shock, horror, and disbelief] then get thee to Llama Inn as fast as your MTA MetroCard will take you.

Llama Inn, the whimsical Williamsburg meets Peru restaurant opened by Chef Erik Ramirez late last year (and whose roof deck is slated to open next month for its inaugural summer season), pays homage to the foods and flavors of Ramirez’s childhood while adding a modern – and decidedly playful – twist.

Before opening Llama Inn, Ramirez cut his teeth at New York’s Raymi and Eleven Madison Park, among others. The combination of his culinary prowess and surprising mash-up of ingredients and influences is the one-two punch that makes Llama Inn a must-visit for curious eaters eager to learn more about what’s happening in Peruvian food right now. 

We chatted with Ramirez last week and asked him about his definition of stoner food, what he learned while cruising Peru with chef Virgilio Martinez, if he’s seen any crazy [stuff] happening under the bridge since moving into his digs below the BQE, and how he rates his Williamsburg patrons’ knowledge of Peruvian food. (Ramirez is himself a Williamsburg-er; he even rides his bike to the restaurant.) Here’s what he had to say about these subjects and more.

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