Mater Catalogue: 30 Species for Central (English)
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A beautiful, original study of native Peruvian ingredients, spearheaded by one of the country's most important chefs.
In 2013 chef Virgilio Martinez began to forge a new path for his restaurant Central. Previously his menu and techniques had reflected his classical training in London and Toronto but he was eager to focus on specifically Peruvian ingredients.
Learning about and bringing local flavors to the restaurant would require more hours than a working chef could offer so he opened Mater Iniciativa, a research department, with his sister Malena as head. There, Malena and Virgilio experimented with the new flavors provided by the waters and terrain of Peru.
Mater Catalogue offers detailed, explicit descriptions of plants and creatures found everywhere from the Pacific waters off the Peruvian coast to the Andean altiplano at elevations of more than 4000 meters (or 13,000 feet).
Watercolor illustrations by Amada Nunez Noriega depict mollusks, algae, climbing plants, nuts, fruits, greens, cacti, tubers, and more. The foods are shown entire and accompanied by additional illustrations that show, where applicable, cross sections, immature specimens, blossoms, seeds, and skeletons.
Each is described in terms of habitat, scientific taxonomy, appearance, growth and reproduction, traditional culinary use, and uses to which it has been put at Central. Maps describe its range throughout Peru, as well as its conservation status.
A fascinating, impressive work. We can only wish we had its equivalent for most countries.
Hardcover. Watercolor illustrations throughout. In English.