Virgilio Martinez (Author)
Virgilio Martinez was the national skateboarding champion of Peru in the 1990s but, after an accident, decided to study law in Lima. During a holiday job, he discovered his passion for cooking, dropped out of university, and travelled to Canada and then London to become a Cordon Bleu graduate. After working for 10 years in Canada, Europe and Asia he became head chef of Gaston Acurio's restaurant in Bogota. Returning home, he opened his own restaurant, Central, in the Peruvian capital in 2010, now the number one restaurant in Peru (according to Summum, Peru's leading restaurant guide), and recently voted the number one best restaurant by Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants list and 4th position in The World's 50 Best Restaurant ranking. The 36-year-old chef also has two restaurants in London - LIMA and LIMA Floral - celebrating informal modern Peruvian cooking. LIMA is the UK's first and only Peruvian restaurant to be given a Michelin star in. Martinez also runs Mater Initiativa - a foundation for research into, and protection of, Peruvian food culture.