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Pía León

chef Pía León

Pía León

Pía León is a Peruvian chef and winner of the award for The World’s Best Female Chef 2021.

Born in 1986 in Lima, Peru, as a young woman she heard that a local chef was planning to open a restaurant in her city. The chef turned out to be Virgilio Martínez and the restaurant was Central. León went from working the cold station to head chef in five years, and became the right hand and wife of Martinez.

Together the two built Central’s international reputation, and in 2014 it won the title of Latin America’s Best Restaurant, retaining the title the following year. The restaurant currently sits at #4 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. In 2018, the chef realised her own culinary ambitions with the opening of her own restaurant, Kjolle, in Lima.

The chef divides her time between Kjolle, Central and cocktail bar Mayo, all housed in Lima's Casa Tupac building, as well as the pair’s destination restaurant Mil, in Cusco in the Peruvian Andes. The chef works always to create community around food in the kitchens of her restaurants, and growing and nurturing the connectedness of indigenous communities across Peru.

León is a passionate, driven and highly accomplished chef, whose work represents the diversity of her home country’s ecosystems. But she is equally an empathetic leader who regards her restaurant teams as her family and strives to find harmony and balance, both in work and in her personal life.

Chef Pía León, of Lima’s Central and Kjolle restaurants in Peru, shares her recipe for aguadito.