The judges of ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ selected Peruvian Virgilio Martínez as the World’s Greatest Chef of 2017. The award also listed his restaurant, Central, as the fifth-greatest restaurant in the globe. Maido, another Peruvian restaurant, ranked in eighth place, a feat which the New York Times rendered as “the biggest surprise of the year.”
Gastronomic Luxury: ‘Natural, Indigenous and Unique’
The ranking, sponsored by the British Group William Reed, was obtained after polling more than 1,000 experts and food connoisseurs. The selection committee praised Martínez for his expeditions to the Andes and the Amazon, in search of new ingredients. This “restless approach,” combined with a boundless imagination, enabled him to break boundaries. His restaurant, Central, boasts an exquisite “17-course menu” that unveils all the food varieties our territory offers. Three times winner of the prize ‘Saint Pellegrino 50 Best Latin American Restaurants’, Central has propelled Peru as one of the top World culinary destinations.
Despite the accolades, Martínez keeps his feet on the ground. He said that Peru is not yet a gastronomic Mecca. But he acknowledged that our dishes are fantastic and plenty of tourists visit Peru just to taste them.
‘Cooking is an art. It might sound pretentious to say that chefs are artists, but I’m not afraid to point out that chefs do make art with their dishes”- Virgilio Martínez
Born in Lima, Martínez emigrated to Canada to study in Le Cordon Bleu. After extensive training in the kitchens of London, Madrid, and New York, Martínez inaugurated the restaurant ‘Lima’ in London. His unexpected success there convinced him to open ‘Central‘ in Peru. His idea was to create a groundbreaking menu that no other Peruvian restaurant had.
Passionate about his homeland, Martínez did not wish to return to London. He had already planned to visit the Peruvian Andes in quest of new ingredients. He did not have any pretentious airs. His expeditions were driven by curiosity and a passion for learning ancient Peruvian culture. Befriending indigenous anthropologists, Martínez set out to discover new culinary ingredients and spices. “Our idea of gastronomic luxury is simply having something natural, indigenous, and unique,” he said once.
His culinary passion, curiosity, and boundless imagination have made Martinez a World-class Chef. Congratulations to him.𝔖