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by Pia Leon, Virgilio Martinez, and Malena Martinez
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Mil Centro is a restaurant located near the Moray archaeological site, high in the Peruvian Andes. The dramatic Incan ruins at Moray served a purpose which is not fully understood, but was clearly in part agricultural.

This book, which like the restaurant is a collaboration between Chefs Pia Leon and Virgilio Martinez, who also run Lima’s Central, and Martinez’s sister Malena, a physician and researcher specializing in indigenous ingredients, examines the possible uses of the site and the foods that might have been grown there at an altitude of nearly two miles.

There is a very modest number of recipes, each of them presented in a dramatic double gatefold that offers full-spread photographs of their presentation Most take full advantage of modern kitchen technology, though the plating leans toward rustic elegance.

A greater part of the book concerns efforts to understand the purpose of the ruins, the people who live in the area and their connection to local ingredients, and a variety of current agricultural practices.

Mil is a highly unusual book, uncommonly committed to ideas of cooking and eating locally. A project of this sort is likely possible only because of Virgilio and Pia’s international renown, and it is a demonstration of the distinctiveness of their vision.

Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.



Published: July 17, 2023

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