Famed chef Virgilio Martinez to open food lab atop the Andes

Virgilio Martínez Véliz
Virgilio Martínez Véliz

It sure is tasty at the top. Virgilio Martinez, the chef at the helm at Central in Lima, Peru, which was recently awarded the 4th spot in the Worlds 50 Best restaurant list, has some exciting news.

Central,  also just named the best restaurant in Latin America, which has quite in interesting menu — Peruvian dishes cooked by Martinez and his wife Pia are dictated by altitude — will be moving. Not only will it move to the popular Barranco neighborhood, but Pia will be opening her own restaurant next door.

As if that is not enough Martinez goodness, Martinez eagerly shared about his own new endeavor, Mil, to be housed in the Andes.

Named for “thousand” in reference to its altitude, the research lab and restaurant is located 11,500 feet up and is extremely remote.

“It’s a 45-minute drive into the mountains, and that’s after you’ve taken a one-hour flight from Lima to Cuzco,”  explains the chef.

It will feature indoor and outdoor seating for 60 diners who will be served food that is only found in the surrounding high-altitude areas. Think: lots of potatoes and corn. Peru produces 4200 registered varieties of corn and Martinez want his diners ” swimming in a sea of corn.”

Martinez and his crew — a team of ten including foragers, botanists, anthropologists and artists — will work in the place that Martinez describes thusly, “There’s a lot of history in a structure like this, but I see the future, too.” [Bloomberg]