Cusco, Peru

Sky-high dining project from the ever-ambitious Central team


On the Pass

Virgilio Martínez with Pía León and Malena Martínez

What makes it special: The epitome of destination dining, to reach Mil requires a 70-minute flight from Lima to Cusco, then a 45-minute winding drive up to an elevation of 3,500 metres above sea level. It’s worth the journey: Mil is situated in the Sacred Valley, with breath-taking views of the Moray agricultural ruins.

Peruvian dream team: Mil comes from the people behind Central, which topped the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list from 2014 to 2016. Chef Virgilio Martínez works with his wife Pía León and his sister Malena, head of the Mater Iniciativa research project, which sources ingredients for Mil, Central and Kjolle.

On the menu: A meal at Mil consists of eight courses that explore local ingredients from ecosystems at different altitudes. From the central Andes, there are potatoes, stems, chaco clay and wild chincho; from the Andean forest there is pork belly, avocado and lupinus legume; and from extreme altitude there is alpaca, black quinoa and tree tomato. The menu is dominated by grains, with protein represented in lamb, llama and alpaca.

A journey through the extremes: Those making the trip to Mil can book the ‘Immersion’ package, which includes a visit to the fields to experience local life, a tour of Mil and Mater, including the cacao and distillation labs, a trip along the botanical route and a guided tour of the system of terraces that formed an agricultural laboratory during the Inca empire. The itinerary culminates in the eight-course tasting menu, and oxygen tanks are available for anyone suffering from altitude sickness.