Located a gasp-inducing 3500 meters above sea level, star chef Virgilio Martínez’s latest project is an incubator of ideas at the top of the world. Driven by an ancient agricultural community whose knowledge goes back centuries, it’s set to make lost ingredients and ancient techniques part of the vernacular again.
When Virgilio’s Lima-based restaurant, Central, hit the number five spot on the World’s 50 Best list in 2017 it was a dream come true, but he still felt something was missing. “We were just following what was happening in Europe and the US, but doing it with Peruvian produce instead,” he explained over the telephone to Spain, while pacing the gardens of his recently opened MIL Centro (www.milcentro.pe) in Moray, a remote corner of the Sacred Valley in Peru. “For me it just wasn’t working. I realised to do something really interesting with our own food we had to get more deeply connected to our people and our culture.”