Virgilio Martínez and Peru’s cuisine are the focus of the first episode of Nat Geo’s new series
Celebrated Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez participated the new series “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted,” which premiered on the 6th of August on the National Geographic Channel. He shared some of his experience with the show, and the coveted local products.
According the Virgilio Martinez, Gordon Ramsay – famous chef and television personality – was awed by the culinary wealth of Peru’s Sacred Valley of the Incas.
The episode was inspired by Cusco’s gastronomic traditions, and introduced the Scottish chef to local products and food varieties. “We have opened the doors of Cusco to Gordon. He has seen the whole catalogue of wild and medicinal plants. The wealth and diversity of our country have left him stunned. He was impressed by everything he saw in the Urubamba market, the fragrance and intensity of the products: muña, Guinea pig, alpaca,” stated Martinez.
The wisdom of the local population was noted by Ramsay, who stated that he had learned more during his stay in Cusco than he had in the last ten years of his career. “We can find more wisdom in traditional cuisine, like what he saw in the Sacred Valley, than we can in cuisine packed with technology. He has lived some very intense days here, and he has enjoyed them,” Martinez commented.
The renowned chef and representative of Peruvian cuisine expressed his pride in these types of responses and how this positively reflects our culture. “It’s great for our external image, but there should also be an internal impact. There is a beautiful Peru, we should preserve it and feel proud. Let’s generate more internal tourism…,” he concluded.
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted #1 - Description
Over 500 years ago, this region was at the heart of the Inca Empire. Although much has changed since then, the region’s altitude and biodiverse ecosystems remain the same, allowing todays farmers to continue in the footsteps of their Inca ancestors. The altitude changes everything – from the flavors of the products, to the temperature that water boils at. Virgilio Martinez is known for his use of indigenous ingredients, giving high altitude Andean cuisine a modern touch. His restaurant in the Sacred Valley, Mil, focuses on ancestral cuisine and functions as a laboratory for culinary investigation.
(…) Uncharted’s objective is to highlight Andean ingredients and the local cooking techniques, Ramsay accepts the challenge. “The Sacred Valley is a high-altitude oasis, and now is the moment to get it on a plate.”