Virgilio Martinez Strikes Again


As if staying at the explora Valle Sagrado weren’t enough. You’d think staying at this five-star hotel in Peru’s Sacred Valley should be sufficient.

But some people just aren’t satisfied with accommodations that naturally blend with the surrounding Andes, 30 daytrip explorations across the valley and a resplendent spa.

For those people, the dining room of explora Valle Sagrado now offers a menu created and curated by none other than Virgilio Martinez. The internationally renowned chef has always held a keen interest in the ingredients and traditions of Peru.

In 2013, he founded Mater Iniciativa, a biological and cultural research organization that sends researchers all across Peru, collecting ingredients that grow on the banks of a river in the Amazon jungle, in the middle of the frozen Puna grasslands, or at more than 13 000 feet above sea level on a snow-covered mountaintop. The fruits of this labor are presented at Central Restaurante Martinez’ Lima eatery, which often appears on various international “best of” lists. At Central, the philosophy is that a plate of food will never be more important than the tradition of an ingredient.

Martinez’ partnership with explora Valle Sagrado gives travelers to Peru another opportunity to experience the mount-watering manifestations of his philosophy.

“Since day one, we had a feeling we were doing something amazing,” Martinez said at the new restaurant’s opening, according to DuJour, which reported on the event. “This is about the food we see here in the Sacred Valley. It’s about the ingredients we get from Andean producers we have known for years. None of the produce will have traveled far. You can’t re-create this food in Lima. You need to have it here. By sharing what’s happening in the Sacred Valley, explora is highlighting a food culture that’s usually invisible.”

Explora is not far from Mil, Martinez’s other Andean restaurant, which is located near the mysterious terraces of Moray. Visitors, however, will experience the food in a different way, depending on where they dine. A lunch at Mil, for example, may last three to four hours. The restaurant at explora will be more focused in day-to-day dining.

If you would like to visit explora Valle Sagrado, whether to stay, or just enjoy a Virgilio Martinez meal, check out the trips below.