“The more soup we could get to the school, the more attendance went up. That motivated us to carry on.”
“The level of gastronomy in Latin America has grown so much in the last few years and there’s a new generation of cooks that have grown in Peru.”
Virgilio Martínez and Pía León, the husband-and-wife team behind three-time Best Restaurant in Latin America, Central, have – quite literally – changed the landscape with their new restaurant, Mil.
“We need to think about the amount of litter we’re producing, the water we use, the quantity of food we’re wasting. What will happen in the future?”
“The most important thing is not to arrive there and invade. It’s about developing friendships so we can have a trusting work relationship.”
“There was always that fear that Kjolle wouldn’t live up to Central. I took a risk but I decided to do it, and luckily we have a strong team.”
While most global foodies can identify ceviche as a Peruvian dish and tacos as Mexican, many would be hard-pushed to name a typically Colombian bite.
On the long journey back to Peru from Australia, Virgilio Martínez and Pia León were hard at work on their latest restaurant project, shunning sleep and inflight movies to sketch out floor plans for one of their most ambitious projects yet.
“As chefs, we have a social responsibility to show farmers that there are other options beyond drug production to substitute their crops and still prosper.”
Colombians are so serious about gastronomy, they’ve renamed a whole neighbourhood in Bogotá as ‘Zona G’ – that’s ‘G’ for gourmet or gastronomy.
A selection of restaurant profiles written for Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014