Latin America’s chefs are conquering the Old World with innovative dishes, fusing traditional ingredients with culinary know-how.
Peru: Lima Floral
All good things come in threes, and there’s no exception for Virgilio Martínez. The Peruvian chef has picked up the San Pellegrino Latin America’s best restaurant accolade for his Lima-based establishment Central (which also ranks 4 in this year’s world rankings), and was awarded a Michelin star for his Lima London restaurant. Covent Garden’s Lima Floral is a more casual offering, whose standout dish is Virgilio’s sea bream ceviche. This authentic classic combines rocoto chili, coriander cress, lime juice and canchita (inca corn) and is bathed in Peru’s quintessential leche de tigre (tiger’s milk) salsa – a paradoxically refreshing yet spicy bite.
Argentina: Casa Malevo
After working at Manhattan’s Aquavit and London’s The Trafalgar among others, Diego Jacquet fused his experiences to create thoroughly modern Argentine fare at Connaught Village’s Casa Malevo. While he is careful to explore all areas of his homeland’s culinary repertoire – the menu includes Patagonian lamb chops with anchovy salsa verde as well as grilled red mullet – there’s little doubt that beef from the Argentine pampas is a sure-fire hit. Try the Asado, a dreamy slow-grilled flank steak served with bone marrow sauce, backed up by a classic malbec from Luján de Cuyo in Mendoza.
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