x
Breaking News
More () »

Cora Cora in West Hartford delivers authentic Peruvian cuisine that's garnered national attention

Cora Cora has two semifinal nominations for the James Beard Awards, including 'best chef'.

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. — Cora Cora in West Hartford is proof that the American dream is still alive and well, as an immigrant family has turned an old McDonald's building into a nationally recognized Peruvian restaurant.

Head Chef Macarena Ludena has turned her Peruvian restaurant into a semifinalist nominee for two categories at the James Beard Awards. They are nominated for Outstanding Restaurant and Best Chef. 

RELATED: Wegmans to open first store in Connecticut

"It was a big surprise for us," said Ludena. "We've been working really hard with the pandemic and everything closing, so receiving this award means that we were working really hard."

Cora Cora has been serving up some of Connecticut's best food for the past 10 years, specializing in authentic Peruvian cuisine. 

"Peruvian food is really such a beautiful food to cook because we show love and we show passion about it," said Ludena.

The James Beard awards, apart from recognizing a restaurant's commitment to culinary excellence, emphasize a restaurant's ability to provide gender and racial equity as well as sustainability culturally. 

"We don't just give people jobs, we give people opportunities to grow in what they do," said Ludena.

Nashale Ortiz is one of those people given an opportunity at Cora Cora, who started working there at 16 and has since worked her way up to manager. 

"It does give you opportunities because, with the money that I make her, it helps me with college," said Ortiz. 

Sign up for the FOX61 newsletters: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines

The final nominees for the Award will be revealed on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Scottsdale, Ariz. 

Ludena said it would be more than a blessing to win the award. 

"If we win it will be more than a blessing for us, the opportunity for everybody to stand up and tell everybody it's a Peruvian restaurant that can bring the heart to Connecticut."  

RELATED: Thomas' Smoke Pit Stop brings family tradition to Manchester

To find out more about Cora Cora, visit their Facebook page or order here online.

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Daniel Dashefsky is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at ddashefsky@fox61.com.

----

Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com

----

HERE ARE MORE WAYS TO GET FOX61 NEWS

Download the FOX61 News APP

iTunes: Click here to download

Google Play: Click here to download

Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.

Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTERFACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out