Michelin star-winning Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez is a pioneer of combining modern cooking techniques with strictly regional products and indigenous farming methods.
Martinez runs Mil, Latin America’s “most talked-about dining experience”. Set near Inca ruins in the Andes Mountains, the restaurant offers a menu of eight courses — each of which explores “how an ingredient was used before the world had a highly unsustainable global economy”. The water is sourced from melted mountain snow, the pink salt is found in nearby ancient terraces, and courses include dragon’s blood tree resin and sea-bubble algae.
The chef is also well-known for Central Restaurante, his restaurant in Lima, Peru. He also runs Senzo in the city of Cuzco, and three restaurants called Lima, two in London (one of which has won a Michelin Star) and one in Dubai.
126 news reports that all organic waste at Mil is repurposed into food for pigs, and that Martinez has a close relationship with the surrounding communities and farmers: suppliers for ingredients including Quillabamba chocolate get 50 percent of harvest profits.
“The focus is on vegetables, tubers and grains,” Martinez tells Conde Nast. “There isn’t much protein apart from alpaca and llama. Each course is paired with an in-house distilled infusion, whether it’s our own coffee or beer.
“Mil isn’t just a restaurant, it’s a laboratory that looks at Peruvian culture, produce and identity.”Tags: food and drink, Peru, Sustainable Gastronomy