KJOLLE’S MENU CONTINUES TO EVOLVE

Pía León defines her cuisine at Kjolle as intuitive; food where the seasonal products are the stars, and offerings can quickly transform depending on the availability.

Text and photos Jimena Agois (IG @jimena.agois) / Translation Alejandra Arrarte

Pía León has a long and notable trajectory. The Peruvian chef at the helm of Kjolle spent 10 years as Head Of Kitchen with Virgilio Martínez at Central, which she now co-owns along with Mil, a restaurant that the two chefs manage together in Moray, Cusco. Kjolle, León’s Lima restaurant, has a creative menu that continues to evolve, with each bite boasting personality, balance, and elegance. We visited the restaurant, and would like to tell you what we tried. 

Kjolle. Pia Leon´s world.

Kjolle has been ranked number 68 on the World’s Best Restaurants 2022 list, and number eight in Latin America (2022). The restaurant’s chef Pia León was named the World’s Best Female Chef and the Best Female Chef in the Latam Region by the World’s Best Restaurant list in 2021. Kjolle, located on the second floor of the Casa Tupac where Central occupies the ground floor, is a place with its own character, and a creative menu that continues to evolve, in which each bite boasts personality, balance, and elegance. León recognizes that her journey has not been an easy one, but, today the fruits of many years of labor are apparent, although the chef assures us that she still has a long way to go.

Kjolle. Pía León defines her cuisine at Kjolle as intuitive; food where the seasonal products are the stars, and offerings can quickly transform depending on the availability of fresh produce

As a Peruvian, a Limeña, a mother, and a wife, Pía León defines her cuisine at Kjolle as intuitive; food where the seasonal products are the stars, and offerings can quickly transform depending on the availability of fresh produce. Her guiding axis, like that of Central restaurant, is Mater (the center for investigation co-run by Leon). Thanks to the ideas developed and tested at Mater, León can work with what nature and our biodiversity generously offer each season. Over the years, León has managed to form a powerful team at Kjolle that excels both in the kitchen and with service, showcasing an uninhibited cuisine in which the products used are highlighted and celebrated with skill and technique, allowing  the textures to harmoniously interlace.

THE MENU: VARIED AND DELICIOUS

While Kjolle offers a notable tasting menu, diners also have the option to order a la carte. The tasting menu consists of eight courses that display León’s sensitivity and the evolution of her cuisine. There are also dishes that have become classics on the menu, and which – despite minor modifications depending on product availability each season – maintain their essence. This is the case, for example, with the chef’s emblematic Muchos Tuberculos (Tubers): a tart that layers yucca, ollucos, and potatoes.

Kjolle. Muchos Tubérculos, an iconic dish.

We begin the experience with black Mashua, a dish in which the entire mashua tuber is used to prepare an assortment of treats, like home-made bread – fluffy and delicious, a creamy butter, a crunchy mashua morsel crowned with beef heart shavings, and a light beverage. This presentation offers a myriad of tastes and textures. We continue with Sea bass and Clams, fresh and delicate, perfectly complemented by thin slices of macre squash. The dish is accompanied by two more tasty bites: crunchy urchin, and an urchin cream with thin strips of macre squash – elegant and flavorful.

WHERE THE SEA AND THE EARTH MEET

The Scallop and Seeds dish is another classic, served with a lime extract, ginger, and thin slices of toasted pacae fruit. Then follows the aforementioned Tubers, one of our favorite Kjolle dishes. We continue with Squid and Huamantanga, in which the squid mingles with a creamy potato mash, yielding a friendly and comforting dish.

Kjolle. Squash diversity. The Scallop and Seeds dish is another classic, served with a lime extract, ginger, and thin slices of toasted pacae fruit.

The prawn is accented by the flavors of coconut and cecina, and accompanied by flowers from the restaurant’s garden. The experience continues with the perfectly cooked beef cheek that falls apart as soon as you touch it with your fork. The delightful dessert comes directly from Mil Moray; a dish that combines cacao, custard apple, and chaco clay, elegant and not overly sweet. Keep in mind that depending on the season, dessert options transform as a result of available products, like citrus fruits, for example. Diego Vásquez, the restaurant’s sommelier, deserves a special mention for the seamless wine pairing. Vásquez knows how to complement each step of this experience with precisely the right beverages. There are many local options available in both wines and spirits.

INFORMATION

Kjolle is located in Casa Túpac, Av. Pedro de Osma 301, Barranco. Reservations can be made at (01) 242-8575 or on their website kjolle.com. The restaurant is open from Wednesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.

 

Etiquetas: kjolle, 50 best, best female chef, pía león, tasting menu, season

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