Wednesday 3 February 2016
Robert Ortiz is the first Peruvian chef ever to win a Michelin star. Born in the Amazon region of Peru near to the Marañón River, Ortiz worked at the renowned Costa Verde in Lima before heading to London. After stints at restaurants taking in a variety of cuisines including Spanish and Italian, he took a position at the prestigious Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf, where he first met fellow Peruvian chef Virgilio Martínez (owner of Central in Lima, currently ranked fourth in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list) with whom he opened Lima in London in 2012.
A busy side street off London’s shopping nexus Oxford Street, surrounded by historic pubs, coffee shops, juice bars and offices is not the first place you might think to look for authentic, innovative Peruvian food, but that’s where you’ll find Lima’s striking bright blue
frontage. Inside, the cosy yet elegant dining room is flooded with natural light through a large skylight and further brightened by a colourful wall mural. But what really illuminates the place is Ortiz’s brilliant cooking.
Peruvian food is unquestionably fashionable in the UK at the moment, but it’s no flash in the pan. With centuries of tradition and a distinctive natural larder of ingredients to draw on, it’s one of the world’s great cuisines with full bright, punchy and attractive flavours
but with true depth and complexity too – something that Europeans are only just beginning to discover.
The menu at Lima, designed in conjunction with Martinez, encompasses cereals, corn and potatoes from the Andes, seafood from Peru’s coast, and fruits, roots and nuts from the Amazon and thereby providing the perfect introduction to the varied delights of Peruvian food.
In addition to classics like causa (layered mashed potato cake) and the national dish of ceviche (raw diced fish marinated in lime juice and other flavourings), Lima restaurant’s must-order signature dishes include octopus olivo served with organic white quinoa (a staple of Peruvian cooking) and Botija olives that are grown on the coastal plains of Southern Peru; lomo steak Huancaina, a Peruvian classic of grilled beef loin with a sauce made from fruity yellow aji chilli peppers, another staple of the cuisine.
After winning the Michelin star in 2013, Ortiz became executive chef of both Lima and Lima Floral, a sister restaurant that opened in Covent Garden in 2014.
Robert Ortiz's Obsession 16 Menu
PISCO POACHED OYSTERS, GRAPE JUICE, GREEN CHILLI
Muscadet Sévre et Maine, Petit Mouton, Domaine du Grand Mouton, Loire Valley, France
HAND DIVED SCALLOPS, YELLOW CHILLI, KIWICHA, RED AMARANTH
Arneis, Seghesio, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California, USA,2011
SEARED AVOCADO, TAMARILLO FRUIT, BROWN SEAWEED BUTTER
Riesling, Hartenberg Estate, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 2010
SEABASS HOT CEVICHE, PLANTAIN BANANA PUREE, ROCOTO PEPPER
Lago Ranco Savignon Blanc, Casa Silva, Region Austral,Chile, 2014
Beef Fillet Pachamanca, Cuzco Corn Cake, Black Quinoa, Fresh Cheese
XI, Gran Cabernet Franc, Pulenta Wines, Mendoza, Argentina, 2011
PRE DESSERT - PISCO SOUR SORBET
75% AMAZONIAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE, (ALTO EL SOL) DRIED ROOTS
Fondillon, Gran Reserva Solera 1964, Culebron, Bodegas Robert Brotons, Alicante, Spain