The judges of ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ selected Peruvian Virgilio Martinez 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 Means Having Something 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 Martinez 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, Martinez keeps his feet on the ground. He said that Peru is not yet a gastronomic Mecca. But he acknowledged 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 Martinez
Born in Lima, Martinez emigrated to Canada to study in Le Cordon Bleu. After extensive training in the kitchens of London, Madrid, and New York, Martinez 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 which no other Peruvian restaurant had.
Passionate about his homeland, Martinez 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 a curiosity and a passion for learning ancient Peruvian culture. Befriending indigenous anthropologists, Martinez 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. ¡Arriba Peru!𝔖