Central Restaurante is slowly earning a major international culinary reputation, due to head chef Virgilio Martínez Véliz’s creative take on classic Peruvian cuisine made with carefully sourced ingredients.
Not only has Central ranked on the World’s 50 Best list for two years in a row, but Central’s sister restaurant, Lima, in London, also helmed by Martínez, recently became the first Peruvian restaurant to earn a Michelin star. The current Central tasting menu is conceptually based on ingredients characteristic of different elevations of Peru. From the sea to the mountains to the jungle, the menu progresses through novel ingredients not often experimented with in Peruvian dining. Dishes include scallops with loche squash (an unusual winter squash found only in Peru) and tumbo (tart "banana passionfruit"), frogfish with deepwater algae, and whole beef heart cooked and dehydrated, then shaved on top of kañiwa, a type of Peruvian quinoa, and served with milk. Martínez is poised to become a culinary giant.
Want to learn more about the best restaurants in Peru and the rest of South America? Check out The Daily Meal's list of the 101 Best Restaurants in Latin America & the Caribbean.