Exploring the Inspiration and Authenticity of Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken



Listen to an on-air segment with Brighton McConnell of 97.9. The Hill as he is joined by team members Brenda Conover, Laise Santos, and Atika Touch for a discussion sponsored by Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken. Participants are invited to share samples of the food and drink offered at Alpaca and discuss some of the restaurant’s unique menu offerings and inspirations.

Alpaca Peruvian Charcoal Chicken is a regional restaurant company with roots in the Triangle that draws extensively on the tastes, customs, and cooking techniques of South America. Recently, a new site in Chapel Hill opened for business.

Brenda Conover, catering manager for all Alpaca sites, described it as “something that’s kind of unique, something we don’t have a lot of around here.” It’s food with Latin influences. We’re well known for our Peruvian charcoal chicken, which is slow-cooked in our custom charcoal ovens that we essentially built from scratch after marinating it for 24 hours. Tostones, yucca fries: I believe that the majority of people won’t be inclined to go out for, say, Peruvian or Latin-inspired cuisine. Once you leave, though, the food is ordinary but excellent.

alpaca peruvian charcoal chicken

According to Atika Touch, catering manager for the Chapel Hill location, the menu at Alpaca may appear straightforward, and service is undoubtedly quick, but no effort is spared in the slow-cooking of highlighted dishes or the attention to detail and authenticity paid to everything plated at any Alpaca restaurant.

According to the firm, “everything is family-run, and there are a lot of family members working in the real restaurants,” said Touch. “They get along pretty well. They work quickly, and even though we work quickly in terms of service, the cooking process is really thorough. So, slow cook, but once everything is done, everyone sort of takes pleasure in everything as it happens.

Laise Santos, business development manager for Alpaca, stated that the current owner’s mother was involved in the business’s founding. She arrived from Maryland because of a business opportunity and discovered that the concept of pollo a la brasa wasn’t truly present in the area. They aimed to keep things straightforward while still instilling fun into something for everyone. You can’t just go anywhere and find Yucca fries, green plantains, or sweet plantains.


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