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Virgilio Martínez knows his abutting restaurant isn’t for everyone. It’s a adventure to get to Mil, amid abreast the Inca ruin of Moray aloft Cusco, Peru, and the aliment will be alien to most: The kitchen’s focus turns appear its surrounding Andean mural and the techniques of the past.
“You accept to be sensitive, creative, open-minded, and accommodating to acquaintance article that is new,” the Chef’s Table brilliant says of the 20 bodies he and his aggregation will be confined six canicule a anniversary starting on February 27. “Mil is not new like Central was. Here we allocution about the unknown, in a actual acute way.”
The restaurant will highlight “ancestral cuisines” of the Andes and, like Central, the blemish Lima restaurant that landed Martínez on the World’s 50 Best List and in the all-embracing spotlight, it will accept a card aggressive by the distance at which capacity grow. But area Central takes diners through altered altitudes advance by course, Mil is laser-focused on what can abound at the aerial acme of its own ambience 11,500 anxiety aloft sea level.
“We are absolutely limited, alike in a abode area there’s a lot of biodiversity,” says Martínez. For example, the ocean is off-limits; instead, he and his aggregation are sourcing angle from high-altitude lakes. Coffee, cacao, basis vegetables, assorted meats and legumes, and Andean grains like quinoa, on the added hand, all canyon muster. “We don’t aloof appetite to baker able-bodied and baker farm-to-table,” Martínez says. “It goes way aloft that.”
While the multi-course meal will disentangle during the day, it feels off to alarm it “lunch.” Starting account at 1 p.m. allows guests to analyze the area and booty in the amazing afterimage of the Moray, terraced Inca charcoal area the chef was aboriginal aggressive to anticipate of affable based on altitude. To put it simply: “At night you can’t see the crops, the fields, or the view.”
The appearance is actual abundant a allotment of the restaurant’s story. The dining allowance windows attending anon out to the celebrated site, while on the plate, dishes highlight the comestible history of the mountains. “The way we’re conceptualizing the accomplished affair is aggravating to accord the booth a faculty of time and abode and bodies and appearance and mural and produce,” Martínez says.
Mil will additionally acknowledge added about the restaurant group’s comestible analysis arm. Mater Iniciativa’s Cusco home abject at Mil has in abounding agency been the agitator for the project. The team, led by Malena Martínez, has been alive with biologists, botanists, and an anthropologist to apprentice added about Andean aliment ability and science. As Mater Iniciativa continues its work, the plan is to allure acceptance and advisers from about the apple to apprentice alongside the team, as able-bodied as abide to host contest that accompany calm chefs and specialists.
It’s affluence to accumulate Virgilio Martínez busy, but that’s not all he has in store. He and Pia León, his wife and co-chef at Central, are in action of aperture a new restaurant alleged Kjolle in Lima — and reinventing Central. Both projects are still actual abundant in process, but Martínez thinks they’ll actualize in June.
“As the card keeps alteration we will be assuming [more],” Martínez says of an aboriginal card bastard peek. “But there is a lot of intuition and faculty of abode in the Andes regions. [We additionally have] a able charge to assignment with our neighbors who are the best producers for what we do.” Booty a attending beneath as Martínez walks through some aboriginal dishes:
Spirits and high-altitude infusions
The alcohol anon aloft is an “infusion of Andean passionfruit with big limes, and molle blush pepper, with a blah spirit,” according to Martínez. “They are allotment of the pairing: two cocktails; one aerial distance wine; one brewed blah (chicha); two altered beers fabricated by cervecerias andinas [Andean beer makers]; and one bottle of brewed oca basis and some hot alcoholic drinks fabricated with copse — that’s a bit of a surprise.”
“Diversity of corn”
“We are extracting best of the aftertaste and the textures of blah that we are growing in about two hectares we have,” Martínez says. In this dish, “you see altered textures, colors and preparations: a bit of tradition, a bit of innovation. Abounding of the plates depend on what we autumn that day, contrarily we will be alteration affairs and produce. You see article like tamales, and some tiny and attenuate crisps, smoked with the husks; all the colors are advancing from the accustomed colors in the vegetables.”
Andean pork and lupinis
Here, “pork abdomen is confited in its own fat in a copse oven,” Martínez says. “We use some petals of retama flowers and legumes, buttery with altered agrarian plants from the mountains.”
Alpaca and freeze-dried tubers
In this dish, “the alpaca is braised and again seared with its own fat, we use the tuntas (freeze-dried potatoes) we get in the altiplano, the plateo, and we serve it with appropriate quinoa taken by duke from the aforementioned plateau,” he says. “We use best of the leaves and petals that abound about everywhere in assertive seasons: agrarian huacatays and agrarian plants