View all newsletters
Latest in Luxury - Sign up to our weekly newsletter

Virgilio Martinez

By Lauren Jade Hill

Virgilio Martínez

Virgilio Martínez talks to Elite Traveler / ©JimenaAgois

In recent years, Peru has established what is now one of the world’s most talked about cuisines. Lima is at the heart of this culinary movement, and Virgilio Martínez is one of the chefs responsible for its global prominence.

This year marks Central’s entry into our Top 100 Restaurants. “It feels good to be included, and in such good company,” Martínez says on hearing the news. “We work hard to be a restaurant that produces change in people, so it’s an honor to be a part of this list.”

Martínez rose to international acclaim by seeking out unknown ingredients from Peru’s many different ecosystems and elevations. He then presents these finds in extraordinarily creative ways.

“At Central we are committed to nature and culture,” he explains. “We take the experience beyond gastronomy, connecting you to the land and people through produce that might have never been used before.”

“I was brought up to have an appreciation for Peru’s diverse environment, culture and traditions,” he continues. “So as a chef, I wanted to explore Peru and see what was going on gastronomically in the different places.

“The diversity in culture and environment means what we eat changes a lot between regions, from the rich sea and high Andes mountains to the different altitudes within the Amazon rainforest. We try to see what’s happening in these different places with unknown ingredients and their unique stories.”

Cordillera Baja at Central / ©César del Río

The tasting menu at Central consists of a series of dishes highlighting ingredients you’ve probably never heard of from each microclimate. Begin with the Red Rocks course made with piure (a type of sea squirt), percebes (goose barnacle) and razor clams, and finish up with the Mil Medicinals plate of congona (a digestive herb), cushuro (freshwater alga) and qolle (a Peruvian plant) from 12,073 ft.

“If you put all of them together, we’re talking about 16 altitudes in 16 different plates,” explains Martínez. This graduation in elevations provides the narrative that in other parts of the world is told by the changing seasons.

Content from our partners
Sky High Gourmet: Qatar Executive's Impressive Dining
The Best Family-friendly Vacation Destinations in Spain
W New York - Times Square: "We Do Things Differently"

“At Central, we are always working on the evolution of our idea,” the chef says in summary. “We push ourselves to the limits, and changes happen every day.”

Top 100 Restaurants – The Results

Topics in this article :
Select and enter your email address Be the first to know about the latest in luxury lifestyle. Get the latest news on hotel openings and in-depth travel guides. Get insider access to exclusive promotions and special offers from our luxury partners.
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thank you for subscribing to Elite Traveler.

Websites in our network