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Lima, Peru


A gastronomic exploration of altitude and Peru’s ecosystem

What's it all about? Central takes guests on a culinary expedition through Peru’s ecosystem, from the Amazon to Pacific coast. Chef Virgílio Martínez and his team forage in the jungle, desert, mountains and sea to discover diverse local ingredients found at every altitude.

Typical dishes: Central’s tasting menu starts from 20 metres below sea level and travels up to 4,100 metres, highlighting the Peruvian ingredients that grow at various elevations. On a recent trip to Aija in the Andes, Martínez harvested wild oca and Andean yams and met a man fermenting ocas in river water, cooking the tuber below the ground on hot stones, inspiring the dish ‘Tallos extremos’.

Worth noting: Central bottles its own filtered, ozonated and purified water on-site using reverse osmosis.

Worth noting II: At the heart of Central is Mater, an initiative that connects cooking with the earth by travelling across the country in search of ingredients and stories from local producers.

Other ventures: Central clutched the top spot on Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurant list two years in a row in 2014 and 2015. In London, Martínez heads projects including Lima, Lima Floral and a Lima concession at upmarket department store Harrods, and has plans to bring contemporary Peruvian cuisine to Dubai.

On the pass

  • Virgilio Martinez (pictured) and Pia Leon

Pastry chef

  • Annia Ortiz

Style of food

  • Contemporary Peruvian

Standout dish

  • Cosecha y recolección (Harvest and gathering)