March 19, 2008 / 10:37 PM / 11 years ago

Opera star Florez cooks "Shrimp a la Pavarotti"

Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez cooks during a ceremony to present his menu at a local restaurant in Lima March 19 2008. REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

LIMA (Reuters Life!) - World-famous opera tenor Juan Diego Florez, visiting his native Peru before his wedding this weekend, made his cooking debut on Wednesday with a Peruvian-Italian fusion dish called “Shrimp a la Pavarotti.”

Dressed in a white chef’s shirt at a restaurant overlooking Lima’s Pacific Ocean waters, Florez whipped up a shrimp flambe in a sauce of orange juice and balsamic vinegar to pay homage to the late opera great Luciano Pavarotti.

“I’ve liked to cook since I was a child,” Florez, 35, told journalists.

The event was part of a push by Peru to showcase its diverse cuisine, which includes rich seafood, ingredients from the desert coast, the Andes mountains and the Amazon basin, along with influences of indigenous, European, Asian and African groups.

Florez, who has been away from the stage since February because of throat inflammation caused by a fish bone, is in Lima to present “Rigoletto” by Giuseppe Verdi and to get married.

He will wed Julia Trappe of Germany on April 5 at Lima’s cathedral, which will open its doors for the first time in 60 years for a wedding ceremony.

“I am nervous about the wedding and the concert, because Rigoletto is an opera I’ve never performed,” said Florez, considered by many the successor to Pavarotti, who died last year.

A week ago, the singer was picked by BBC Music Magazine as among the top 20 tenors of all time.

Reporting by Marco Aquino, Writing by Terry Wade, Editing by Patricia Reaney

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