Food connects directly with the senses and feelings. There are dishes that take us back to childhood, others that project us to the future. There are also those that we like, disturb us, surprise us, intrigue us, generate expectations or amuse us. Hardly a diner remains indifferent when he gets up from the table, even more so when visiting a restaurant with refined cuisine and a high ticket that handles new concepts such as sustainability, climate crisis, minimum waste, revaluation of native products, respectful approach to producers and a lot of research. .
This is more or less the case of Central with Virgilio Martínez and Pía León as standard bearers and Malena Martínez in Mater as investigative support and guardian of the products, techniques and uses that the team discovers and treasures on its pilgrimage through the country’s ecosystems.
It is not an easy kitchen. For the Japanese it is “rare”, but with that rarity that attracts curious and trained palates. For Europeans it is avant-garde, original. Central summons the public precisely because it is different, unique in the world, which does not relent in its eagerness to learn and continues to add ideas that come from both the field of social sciences and fine arts.
Three months ago Central’s kitchen has a new boss. This is Maruic Medina, a cook graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Lima, who worked as head chef at Naturaliste, Alain Ducasse’s restaurant in Paris, before joining Casa Tupac in Barranco.
For her it is a challenge and a satisfaction to manage a hundred chefs of various nationalities who work under defined objectives and creative concepts with multiple spaces to propose, recreate and discover.
For the diner it is also an adventure to discover new flavors and products with unknown names such as chinchamale, nettle, sargassum, sangre de grado, qolle, cushuro, muña, mucilage, among many other products that come from different heights above sea level, which it allows the subsistence of diverse ecosystems, the basis on which Central’s cuisine is based.
With lantana flowers they prepare a sparkling wine, with spirulina they dye the shellfish blue and green, with an infusion of quince and matico leaves they accompany a wonderful bite of raw shrimp with loche and avocado. Sofia, a Russian interested in natural concoctions, offered me a delicious drink made of kombucha, molle, boldo, Jamaica flower and lime peel.
The menu mother world experience It is a journey through 14 ecosystems with bites that are impossible to define but that leave a trail of irresistible sensations full of surprises and sighs. Perhaps the most unexpected thing was one of the desserts called Sacred Valley 2800 masl that has cauliflower meringue, cherimoya segments and lemon verbena honey. At Central they use practically the entire product, from the roots to the flowers, from the bones to the skin. They use all the techniques that go from raw to cooked, going through macerated, concentrated, smoked and salted. The crockery, the furniture, the cutlery, the menu printed on recycled paper cardboard and other accessories maintain an austere, minimalist, earthy language, without stridency, but at the same time as harmonious, free and wild as nature itself.
Address: Av. Pedro de Osma 301, Barranco. Attention: lunch and dinner. They offer three types of tasting menu with pairing (with or without alcohol). Reservations: www.centralrestaurante.com.pe from Monday to Saturday between 12:45 and 1:45 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.