From LIMA London’s exciting new affordable menu to inspirations and spring ingredients, FOUR meets Robert Oritz, culinary guru when it comes to Peruvian cuisine. 

What inspired you to become a chef?
What inspired me was my grand mother and my mother. We had a bakery shop in Peru and they were part of a Coffee Cooperative. At the time was very interesting to understand the folklore and the culture around Peruvian culture around food. All I learned from my childhood inspired me to be a chef.

Where did you train? Tell us more about your culinary background…
I started learning from my family and afterwards I moved to Lima, capital of Peru, where I was lucky enough to join one of the best restaurants in Peru at the time. I went to do culinary courses mainly in Peruvian, Italian and Spanish food. Then I moved to London where I met chefs like George Heise, Marco Bax, Gary Klanner and other chefs like Virgilio Martinez later in my career. 

What can diners expect from the new menu at LIMA London?
We are working really hard to give more to our customers in terms of flavours and the possibility to try more dishes. The concept focuses on sharing plates, punchy flavours, relaxed format and more affordable.

Do you have a favourite spring ingredient?
Jerusalem Artichokes and English asparagus are two of my favourites

Describe your cooking style in three words.
Fresh, simple and colourful

Do you have any culinary heroes?
Yes, Anton Edelman, Jose Maria Arzak and the Roux Brothers

Name us three of your favourite restaurants.
My favourite restaurant is called Caravagio and I also like el George 5 in Paris and Central in Peru

What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?
To work very hard, to be prepared, to read a lot and get new experiences, travel as much as possible in discovery of new flavours, cultures and people.

What’s next on the cards?
We have some ideas on the pipeline, but we prefer to keep them secret at this stage!