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Senor Carbon Brings Traditional and Peruvian Japanese Cuisine to Pioneer Square

After over a year of sold-out pop-up events, chef Joe Tuesta brings Peruvian and Nikkei dishes to a new restaurant

Chef Tuesta leans over a dish, adding sauce from a squeeze bottle.
Senor Carbon aims to bring more Nikkei cuisine to Seattle.
Simon Diez

Chef Joe Tuesta has a culinary career that spans two continents, multiple culinary traditions, and soon, he will open the new restaurant he co-owns with wife Imelda Diez-Tipa called Senor Carbon Peruvian Cuisine. The Pioneer Square restaurant is only one city approval away from officially opening, which Diez-Tipa hopes will be this weekend.

Senor Carbon brings not only traditional Peruvian cuisine, but Nikkei (Japanese immigrant) and Chifa dishes, the latter being a fusion of Peruvian ingredients and Chinese recipes. The result is a wide-ranging menu from lomo saltado, soups and stews like chupe de langostino, and pork adobo, to plentiful sushi options, and dishes like salmon in ponzu sauce with roasted sesame. The restaurant will open with lunch and dinner, and intends to add a breakfast menu and rotisserie chicken options later.

Two hands wearing blue latex gloves dish up vegetables into small clear bowls.
Chef Joe Tuesta brings an impressive line up of traditional Peruvian and Nikkei dishes to new restaurant Señor Carbón.
Simon Diez

Tuesta entered the Peruvian culinary scene in the 2000s and was eventually promoted to sushi chef at a Radisson Hotel. Peru has the second largest population of Japanese immigrants in South America after Brazil, and the continent’s largest representation of Chinese diaspora communities. Nikkei, in this context, generally refers to dishes made with Peruvian ingredients like corn, cassava, potatoes, and limes, developed over generations by Japanese immigrants. It’s a cuisine without much representation in Seattle, and one that Tuesta and Diez-Tipa are eager to share.

One of their pop-up guests recently told Diez-Tipa that their food provided an ”explosion of flavor” when they had the first bite. “I enjoy watching their faces [after tasting], and just being proud of our food and what we’re offering,” she said.

Diez-Tipa has a degree in hospitality administration, and the two became a perfect team as they moved to Washington with a dream of opening a restaurant. Last year, Tuesta was hosting sold-out pop-ups at Don Lucho’s in the Roosevelt neighborhood, while also looking with Diez-Tipa for a space to open their own restaurant. In May, they learned the location at 625 1st ave suite 100 in Pioneer Square was available and secured the space.

“The process has been a little bit hectic so far, but we’re almost there,” Diez-Tipa said. “We are ready. We just cannot wait to start sharing our food.”