Pía León (left) Virgilio Martinez (right)
What makes it special? Reaching Mil, which is situated in Peru’s breath-taking Sacred Valley, 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 – the dining room enjoys once-in-a-lifetime views of the Moray agricultural ruins.
Who’s behind it? Mil comes from the people behind Central, which topped the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list from 2014 to 2016 and took the No.1 spot again in 2022. Virgilio Martínez and Pía León oversee the concept, while chef Luis Valderrama leads the kitchen and Martínez’s sister Malena heads up 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 (an aromatic herb); from the Andean forest, there is pork belly, avocado and lupinus legume; and from the extreme altitude there is alpaca, black quinoa and tree tomato. The menu is dominated by grains, with protein represented in lamb and llama. This is the epitome of destination dining.
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 as well as a tour of Mil and Mater, including the cacao and distillation labs.