This exquisite monograph from acclaimed Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez follows the innovative and exciting tasting menu at his signature restaurant, Central, in Lima. Organized by altitude, each chapter highlights recipes, food, and documentary photographs, together with personal essays. His journeys and life as a chef are motivated by his insatiable curiosity and passion for the biodiversity of his land.
About the Author
Virgilio Martinez has cooked in restaurants around the world and in 2009, in Lima, he opened Central. In 2013 he debuted on the World's 50 Best list and in 2015 he reached #4 and was named the #1 chef in Latin America. He is the founder of Mater Iniciativa, which documents indigenous foods in Peru. In London, he runs the restaurants Lima and Lima Floral. He lives in Peru.
Featured on the Netflix documentary series Chef's Table As featured in Bon Appetit, Bloomberg Pursuits, Domino, Food & Wine, Four, La Repubblica, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Vogue, and Wine Enthusiast, and on New Worlder and Vice Munchies; as heard on Heritage Radio and WBUR - On Point, Boston "For hundreds of years, Peruvian biodiversity has been a hidden treasure of thousands of unique ingredients. Today, in the Peruvian Amazon, deserts, Andes, Altiplano, and all of their ecosystems, some ingredients, like quinoa and native cacao, are already traveling all over the world. A small group of chefs wanted to explore deeper than ever the potentials of each ingredient, each environment of Peru-listening, smelling, touching, learning-with a style of cooking that was absolutely modern, unique, and Peruvian. Leading the creativity of this young and free generation of chefs is Virgilio Martinez. If you want to discover Peru and its treasures in its most modern version, to feel our unique biodiversity, to celebrate our multicultural society, and to taste the soul of young Peruvians proud of their culture, this book is the perfect way to do it. In Central, Virgilio will take you on a journey, from the Pacific Ocean to the high Andes, discovering the magic of the ingredients of Peru." -Gaston Acurio of Astrid & Gaston (Lima, Peru) "Central is about Virgilio's desire to tell the story of a collective wish from a individual pulse, and of a passion that comes from history. His book features a strike of authority achieved through culture and creativity." -Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz (San Sebastian, Spain) "Virgilio Martinez doesn't settle with what is already in everyone's imagination about Peruvian cuisine. He is a chef who looks deeply into the unknown, into the forgotten and rejected to find a different way to embrace his culture. Virgilio brings to light another side of Peruvian culinary culture, one inspired by Big Nature: the vast landscape and diverse terrain of this unique place. He is a keen observer who isn't afraid to open his kitchen to the unknown. Virgilio forges not one path to understanding Peruvian cuisine but many, and from this research and determination, he is giving back to Peru centuries of ancestral wisdom through fine dining." -Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy) "We believe that what we do in our kitchens is to create beauty as the legacy for future generations. This is what Virgilio's work in Central communicates - and we know the readers will feel this emotion." -Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn (San Francisco, United States) "What Virgilio and his team at Central have created is an entirely new lexicon of cuisine, while maintaining the ancient traditions, the beauty, and the integrity of the cooking of his land." -Carlo Mirarchi of Blanca (New York City, United States) "Central is a testament of passion, integrity, and knowledge - a generous gift of sharing with others. Through Virgilio's food I learned so much about the culture and people of Peru, but most of all, I learned this importance of others and the richness of endless discoveries. This is a very special book and Virgilio is an outstanding human being." -Joan, Josep & Jordi Roca of El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain) "Will impress gastronomes and satiate the appetites of armchair travellers alike... The beautifully designed book gives incredible insight into the huge natural diversity of Martinez's homeland, plus the exquisitely crafted dishes served in the restaurant... Deserves hours of pawing over the rich visuals and absorbing the inspirational journey with one of the best chefs in the world." -FineDiningLovers.com "One of the most stunning books I've ever read... The text captivates and the photos transport."-The Latin Kitchen "Central is where Martinez is free to explore a more nuanced idea of Peruvian culinary identity."-Saveur.com "Beautifu lly designed, Central will take gastronomes and armchair travelers alike on a wonderfully vivid journey around Peru whilst giving an exclusive glimpse into the motivations and passions of one of the world's very best chefs." -Four magazine online "[Virgilio Martinez] is a fascinating character... As with many of the top restaurants in the world, Central has a driving philosophy, a philosophy that has taken time to emerge and develop, and one that Martinez shares in his book of the same name... Dishes at Central are tastes of the ecosystems in which the ingredients are found... His book takes you through the dishes of each of the ten ecosystems, just as the tasting menu at the restaurant does. Each section on an ecosystem is accompanied by an insightful introduction, stunning photography and recipes that give you a clear insight into not just Martinez and his work, but into Peru itself... A book that will be devoured and adored by any gastronome or armchair traveller for opening up a world that one would not have had the imagination or understanding to consider existed." -InGoodTasteUK.com "Central documents some of [Martinez's] most beautiful dishes."-Discovery Cathay Pacific "Central is a stunning coffee table-worthy cookbook from the famed Lima restaurant."-Food & Wine "Peruvian wunderkind Virgilio Martinez's Central... Reveal[s] the power of inventing your own rules."-Vogue "Peruvian food is hot, hot, hot right now, but there is more to it than ceviche, as this book by the chef at Lima's celebrated Central restaurant shows." -The Lady "[Central is] beautifully put together, it has stunning dishes superbly photographed and is bursting with ideas... It's a book to enjoy as a book, a fascinating read and insight into a country and cuisine most of us have only a glancing acquaintance with... You will find yourself impressed and overawed and booking a flight to Lima." -FoodePedia.co.uk "A novel and enlightening depiction of the environmental landscape of Latin America's gastronomic capital." -Philippines Daily Inquirer "Beautiful." -PrivatAir "Peru's secret larder... An insight into what Virgilio and his team are trying to do... [Sheds] light on the incredible cornucopia of ingredients they've managed to collect."-GreatBritishChefs.com "Virgilio's inquisitiveness has transformed Central into a constantly evolving representation of Peruvian biodiversity."-TheGannet.com