Virgilio Martínez and Pía León
It’s impossible to overstate the importance and impact of Central in Latin American gastronomy over the last decade: not only has the Lima restaurant taken the process of simultaneously nourishing the body and the mind to a new level, but it has done so while remaining delicious, fun and welcoming. What’s more, the global profile of its chief protagonists has helped garner global interest in Peru’s culinary culture and biodiversity.
Chef couple Virgilio Martínez and Pía León’s flagship, which has topped Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list three times previously, is an ode to Peru in all forms. After years of exploration, guided by Mater Iniciativa – the arm that researches local ingredients, spearheaded by the powerhouse pair and Martínez’ sister Malena – Central’s tasting menu features the finest food that land and sea have to offer. Scallops, squid and clams come fresh from the coast and the Amazon, while the Sacred Valley offers up pork belly and goat’s neck, among much else.
With a progressive approach to sustainability, people management and a fair supply chain, Central can justifiably lay claim to the title of The Greatest Restaurant in Latin America 2013-2021.