About Me

I learned to cook Peru’s traditional dishes from my mother, and was an omnivore for most of my life. So, when I turned vegan I thought I’d lose my cultural identity. But after researching the foods of my ancestors, I discovered that Quechua communities in Peru’s Andes Mountains thrived on a mostly plant-based diet of quinoa, corn, potatoes, coca leaves, and wild herbs. Now, from my home in Portland, Oregon, I am on a mission to veganize Peru’s creole cuisine, and I have an advantage: I know what the original dishes taste like. I love cooking with Afro-Peruvian music playing in the kitchen because it imbues the dishes with more flavor and spice.


“I always really appreciate how Nico weaves history, cultural significance, and cooking how-to in his TASTE stories.”
— Matt Rodbard, TASTE

“Vera is a brilliant storyteller, driven by cultural, familial and historic connections in all that he does. Stories inform his food and his advocacy, and it’s impossible not to be affected by his passion for place.”
— Laura Borrman, Iconic San Francisco

“During his ceviche masterclass, he evokes a sense of romanticism when he shares the history of the dishes he presents. Because of his background as a mathematician, Nico is methodical and structured. His recipes have been perfected and kept simple.”
— Janice Espa, Food Sake Tokyo

“Nico is an exemplar ambassador of our Peruvian culture, its food, and who we are. I really appreciate what he does, as he is a great game changer.”
— Virgilio Martínez, Mil

Media and Press

Magazines, radio stations, and newspapers feature my stories, interviews, and classes: