The latest episode on CNN International’s Culinary Journeys television show has now aired, documenting an exciting trip with chef Virgilio Martinez.
Martinez, who runs the Central restaurant in Peru - just voted as the Best Restaurant in Latin America for a second year in a row, took the CNN team on a journey to visit the Acomayo community, around 3,500 metres above sea level in The Andes.
The journey made perfect sense for Martinez who serves an elevation menu at his restaurant, offering plates that match with the many different altitudes found across Peru.
We caught up with Martinez ahead of the show to find out more about his journey and just what he learned. Below you can see his answers and watch the show in three seperate clips - enjoy!
Tell us about your journey - why did you choose Acomayo?
"They told me I could go to anywhere in the world but for me, my world is to travel to The Amazon and The Andes - these places have a huge energy to show - this is why I picked the trip I picked.
"Aomayo is a community that lives in the Andes and they live very far away from people and the city and I thought it would be really cool to show how they live and how they cook. They have this great technique to cook potatoes while they are also harvesting potatoes - it was very intense to see all this."
Will you use any of the things you learned back at Central?
"In Central we are more focused on the produce and not usually the techniques but the techniques that they use are so particular that they are very interesting.
"They have this technique to cook potatoes by covering them in clay and making a little oven the ground. Now we do the same at Central - we cover the potatoes with clay and some cocoa powder and herbs. Now, this is coming to the menu."
If we gave you a blank cheque for a culinary journey anywhere in the world, where would you go?
"I would love to go to China, but I’m talking about the real China that we see in old movies, not the cities. I think this would be amazing for me - to do some of the same trips we take in Cusco but across all of the Chinese traditions.
"It would be great to see how they use different animals, vegetables, meats. I’m not used to seeing these things so this would be very interesting."
What’s the one culinary journey you look forward to taking the most?
Going back to Lima and having bread with pejerrey - it’s this dish that people used to eat in these old taverns of Lima when it was full of different immigrants and they found they had all this fish.
So bread with pejerrey in an old tavern in Lima downtown.
What’s the highlight of your own culinary journey?
It has to be the latest news that I am having my first baby. I’m looking forward to so much to seeing Pia (my partner) and having our first baby. It’s huge for us because we’ve been working together for about 15 years with no vacations, so committed to the restaurant and now we have this family coming through and that is going to be a big change for us.
See more Culinary Journeys episode on Fine Dining Lovers.