José del Castillo
Chief reason to visit: Chef José del Castillo is giving back to Lima the ultimate comfort food experience, recreating the feeling of a mother’s love at the table with delicious and nostalgic food in generous sharing portions. Set in a historic house in Barranco – the favourite area in Lima for bohemians, artists and intellectuals – it has the authentic ambience of an old family home.
A few words on the chef: Castillo started to cook at the age of nine, working at the family’s La Red Cevichería with his mother and brothers for many years. He studied business to help the family enterprise and later trained as a chef, starting to cook professionally in 2000, and opened Isolina in 2015.
Typical dishes: Isolina serves many dishes using offal and seafood, including cau cau con sangrecita (tripe and potato stew with fried blood), brain tortilla, liver and onions, and octopus chicharrón (a take on pork scratchings, made with octopus).
Other ventures: The family owns two La Red Cevicherías in the city – one in the San Miguel district and one in Miraflores.
Cooking at home: While Isolina was closed in 2020, Castillo took to Instagram to teach people how to cook better at home and vary their diets, sharing many of his signature recipes.