|Owner(s)||Virgilio Martínez Véliz|
|Head chef||Virgilio Martínez Véliz|
|Food type||Contemporary Peruvian|
|Rating||Nº4 (2015) The World's 50 Best Restaurants; Nº1 (2015) Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants|
|Street address||Calle Santa Isabel 376 – Miraflores|
Central Restaurante is a restaurant located in the Barranco District, Lima, Peru. Central Restaurante is the flagship restaurant of Peruvian chef, Virgilio Martínez Véliz, and serves as his workshop in the investigation and integration of indigenous Peruvian ingredients into the restaurant's menu. The restaurant is known for its contemporary interpretation and presentation of Peruvian cuisine. GQ Latinoamérica calls Central Restaurante "the heart of his Virgilio Martínez Véliz gastronomic philosophy." In 2012, Central Restaurante was named Best Restaurant of Peru by the Peruvian dining guide, SUMMUM. In 2013, Central Restaurante entered as number 50 in The World's 50 Best Restaurants as awarded by the British magazine Restaurant., and in 2014 jumped 35 places receiving "Highest Climber" recognition and ranking as number 15 in the world. On August 21, 2014, Central Restaurante for the third consecutive year was awarded Best Restaurant of Peru by the Peruvian Dining Guide, SUMMUM, and additionally received awards for Best Contemporary Peruvian cuisine and Best Sommelier.
Central has been named the best restaurant in Latin America for 3 consecutive years (2014, 2015, and 2016) and ranked 2nd in 2017. It is also ranked among the World's 50 Best Restaurants ranking 4th in the world in 2015 and 2016, 5th in 2017, and 6th in 2018.
The cuisine at Central Restaurante is Contemporary Peruvian, and founder Virgilio Martínez Véliz has attempted to redefine Peruvian cuisine by introducing little-known indigenous ingredients from Peru's coastal region, the Andes highlands, and the Amazon rainforest. Examples of such ingredients include kushuru (cushuro), an edible cyanobacteria harvested in high-altitude wetlands; arracacha, a root vegetable from the Andes; and arapaima, a freshwater fish found in the Amazon River. Chef and restaurant commentator Geeta Bansal describes the cuisine as "fresh, and contemporary with beautiful plates."
Owner and founder Virgilio Martínez Véliz formerly worked at restaurants such as Lutèce (New York City); Can Fabes (Sant Celoni); and served as executive chef at Astrid & Gastón in both Bogotá and Madrid. The Chef de cuisine is Pía León, wife of Martínez Véliz. The two worked together for two years before marrying in Lima on May 4, 2013. The restaurant's wine director is American-born Gregory Thomas Smith.
Since its opening, Central restaurant has been illegally located in an area zoned residential. In 2009, Manuel Masías Oyanguren, the mayor of Mirafores, closed the restaurant and stated that it wouldn't open again, enforcing the zoning approved since 2006. The restaurant continued to operate until 2010, when it finally closed. Later in the same year, Central opened again thanks to a court order. That court order was later cancelled, but Central presented an appeal and is waiting for the decision. Since then, Central has moved districts to Barranco.
- Velásquez, Renato (2013). "El Cocinero Explorador". GQ Latinoamérica (April): 128.
- "Central fue elegido mejor restaurante del país. Gestion. 12 de julio de 2012". Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2013-06-12.
- "Central – The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2013". Archived from the original on 2013-06-20. Retrieved 2013-06-12.
- Central – The World's 50 Best Restaurants 2014 Archived June 20, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- "Geeta Bansal Interviews Virgilo Martinez, Peru's Newest Chef Star. OC Weekly. May 6, 2013". Archived from the original on June 14, 2013. Retrieved June 12, 2013.
- "Alcalde de Miraflores en sus trece: "el restaurante Central no volverá a abrir"".
- "El restaurante Central volverá a abrir sus puertas este lunes".