CENTRAL: THE BEST RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD

Central reached the top, and we celebrate! The restaurant, was awarded the No. 1 position The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 list

Words by El Trinche Team (@eltrinchecom)

Central reached the top, and we celebrate! The restaurant, owned by chefs Virgilio Martínez and Pía León, was awarded the No. 1 position on the 2023 World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Once again, the spotlight is on Perú, which started that path in the culinary industry a couple of decades ago thanks to the hopeful young cooks led by Gastón Acurio.

Today is a game changer not only for Perú, but for all of Latin America. Central the Peruvian restaurant by Virgilio Martínez and Pía León was named first on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. 

Central has a solid concept that took years in the making, and it’s based on the study and research of Mater (led by Malena Martínez) and the storytelling that starts from the produce, biodiversity, and ecological levels. Behind this restaurant are not only cooks but a whole team that has been able to re-work, take in, and correct mistakes, a group that learned to build from within and generate a healthy environment for new generation of cooks (Marvic Medina, Central’s chef de cuisine; Sang Jeong, also Central; Santiago Fernández from MAZ, in Japan; Bernabé Simón in Kjolle;  Luis Valderrama in MIL, just to name a few).

It was a challenging job, mostly giving space for new ways to approach the culinary work horizontally and respectfully. The team and the communities join efforts to generate encounters of different cosmovisions feeding each other from the coast, the Andes to the Amazon, understanding each other’s differences, the supremacy of none, and the relevance of all. Today Central is an open book for those asking or knocking on the door. There is much more time to grow, and that is exciting. They took the right path!

Hundreds can be the critics of the world’s 50 best restaurants list. They will come from all angles. But the truth is that its reach is immense and intense.

LATIN AMERICA IS A WHOLE

Today the eyes of the world look to our plentiful lands of biodiversity and tradition. In Peru and the whole region, that serves as the world’s pantry. The one that it is so difficult for us to see even for ourselves, and that has been revealing itself more and more interesting at the Latin tables. This recognition creates a cascade effect and will likely reflect on tourism all over the region in the following months.

We have said it several times: the so-called Latin American fine-dinning is a unique and fabulous model that treads stories, traditions, and produce, showing its uniqueness. There’s nothing like it. It doesn’t need anyone’s validation. It’s ours, from each country, a majestic region and almost indestructible empires. It feeds from techniques from abroad, like any other cuisine, but intertwines them wisely with elegance in a mix that knows that they are just tools and that the essence is authenticity.

Naturally, some people don’t like what is happening; there are changes in patterns that seem set in stone. To us, this is wonderful. There’s a strong, creative, and aggressive Leo Espinosa in Colombia. In Chile, the delicate passion of Rodolfo Guzmán in Boragó. In Mexico, the mature take of Jorge Vallejo from Quintonil or Elena Reygadas from Rosetta (this year’s Best Female Chef). New voices are showing in Ecuador, like Pía Salazar and Alejandro Chamorro from Nuema and the Guatemalan Deborah Fadul with Diacá. In Brazil, Manu Buffara in Manu (Curitiba) or Janaína and Jefferson Rueda with their A Casa do Porco in São Paulo.

The Peruvian panorama grows with young chefs like Juan Luis Martínez with Mérito, which was this year’s highest new entry on the 59th position from the extended 51 to 100 list, also others like Francesca Ferreyros, or the Shizen team (Coco Tomita, Renato Kanashiro and Mayra Flores)Rodrigo Alzamora, Aldo Yaranga with his work with the amazonian Paiche at La Patarashca. They are joining the already established, Mayta by Jaime Pesaque, which landed this year in the 47th spot, Kjolle from Pía León en in the 28th position, and Mitsuharu Tsumura from Maido in the 6th place.

4 Peruvians were in the top 50, 2 in the top 10, and Kjolle with the first peruvian woman leading a restaurant in the world’s list, 12 Latin American restaurants in the top 50: 1 Brazilian, 1 Argentinian, 3 Mexicans, 1 Chilean, 2 Colombians, 4 Peruvians. Over 20% of the world’s 50 Best Restaurants list is Latin American. Something is happening, and we want to see more.

THE WINNERS

Watch the whole ceremony:

Read the full list here

Etiquetas: latin america, 50 best restaurants, central, virgilio martínez

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