Virgilio Martínez (pictured) and Pía León
Marine Soil: Razor Clams, Pepino Melon, Aji Chili Pepper
Ca. Santa Isabel 376, Miraflores, Lima
+51 1 242 8515
Chief reason to visit: Chef Virgílio Martínez’s star has been rising rapidly for the last few years, coinciding with Lima’s ascent to become one of the world’s leading gastronomic destinations. Now in its third year as No.1 in Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants, Central is an unmissable part of the itinerary, with its tasting menu travelling from 25 metres below to 4,200 metres above sea level.
A few words on the chef: Martínez trained in kitchens in London, New York, Bogotá and Madrid before opening Central in 2009. He cooks alongside his head chef and wife, Pía, and says their work/life relationship is “a beautiful thing”.
Typical dishes: Hot ceviche of langoustines and corvina fish; Mask of the Suckling Pig with black onion and sweet garlic; pseudocereals with quinoa and kañiwa.
What else? When they first appeared in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013, Pía and Virgílio travelled to London for the awards ceremony just four days before returning to Lima to get married. Life has been similarly hectic ever since.
Other ventures: Martínez also owns Lima and more casual Lima Floral in London – handy for those who live on the other side of the pond.
Global profile: Central made its debut on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013 at No.50 and has since rocketed to No.4.
Images: Central Restaurante