FOURty Seconds with Virgilio Martínez

02 Aug 2015
2 min read
The Peruvian chef of the moment, Virgilio Martínez, speaks to FOUR ahead of his guest appearance at Villa Louise, Creutz & Partners’ highly acclaimed cooking facility in Aachen, Germany.

Tell us about yourchef takover at Creutz & partners, Villa Louise

It’s all about surprise, enjoying the lunch and having good fun exchanging information.

What can guests expect at theVilla Louise event?

They can expect to see and feel peruvian food through our window. It will be challenging to offer guests different flavors and color and textures of ingredients they probably haven´t tasted or seen before but it will be great to share.

Have you decided on the menu?

About 60% done. The rest will be decided there.

What would you say has inspired your cooking the most?

I would say peruvian diversity is inspiring itself. Our culture is so rich, as is our agricultural incas heritage, and the immense variety of ingredients that grow or exist in this territory. I am proud and grateful, as a cook, that I can count on a seemingly unlimitedsource of inspiration in the natural surroundings of Peru.

What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?

As a kid I always found a good excuse to be in the kitchen. Going to the beach during summer was an opportunity to observe the cebiche makers and capture every stage of the process that differs from one cook to the other. I was probably younger than 6 and eager to squeeze in.

Describe how you see your own culinary style and how it has evolved over the years…

It has been a journey, no doubt about it! At first, when I came back to Peru after my cooking training abroad, after experiencing other places food and culture, I wanted to share what I´d learnt through my cooking. So, I started incorporating peruvian ingredients as much as I knew about them. Peru has been through another journey as well. Our appreciation for our own food and ingredients is way bigger than it used to be. So I got curious about what else would there be…In my country. Outside urban Lima, in the countryside, and in other regions. That is how my Research on peruvian ingredients started, and of course, I needed help from other disciplines so my knowledge about them and my experiencing in the kitchen could have a strong foundation.

What are your most indispensable ingredients?

Salt for sure. I use a lot of Maras salt. Also, different potatoes, or chili peppers, corn varieties, and Andean grains (quinoas, Kiwicha, kañiwa…)

What do you gain as a chef from collaborations such as this one?

We love getting to know people and having the opportunity to learn from them.

What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?

I would say when we decided to start working as a group to explore. We built a team to go on these trips that has changed the way we see cooking.

What’s next for you?

Living in Cusco. Back to the mountains for awhile.

What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?

The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, Washington, USA.

Find out more about Villa Louise here |