Virgilio Martinez

Central Restaurant Lima Peru
“My favorite dish and the one that I most associate with my country Peru is the ancient dried potato recipe for carapulcra. Potatoes have been preserved by dehydration after the harvest for ages in the Andes of Peru, even before the Incas. This process made the product lighter, easier to transport, and it helped maintain its quality. Cooking these dried potatoes gives the stew a unique flavor and texture. My grandmother made carapulcra for us as children—I’ve been eating it since I was five years old—so I really see it as the ultimate comfort food. Today we do so many things with dried potatoes it makes this ingredient an important part of our past, and also of our future.”
“As a young child, my grandmother had a garden in our backyard and while she was cooking, she would ask me to go pick jalapenos, tomatoes, and squash. That garden made a big impression on me and my life. I believe that is where my passion for food and fellowship developed. On Sundays our family would gather at my grandparents’ home to eat and laugh. I believe that no matter what happens in life there is no better feeling than gathering around the dinner table with your family and friends.”