Widely renown as one of the world’s most talented and creative chefs, Peruvian Diego Muñoz, belongs to the new generation of chefs promoting the spread of Peruvian Cuisine and South American heritage around the world. After training at Le Cordon Bleu in Canada and Paris, Diego was awarded with “Le Grande Diplôme” distinction before working at the mythical restaurants Mugaritz and El Bulli Spain, where he learned under the lead of Andoni Luis Aduriz and Ferrán Adriá. He then moved to Australia to revitalize the kitchen of Bilson’s. After 15 years abroad, he returned to his hometown, filling the huge shoes of Gastón Acurio – the legendary chef and restaurateur considered as the “Godfather of Peruvian cuisine”. During the four years leading Astrid & Gastón, he took the restaurant to #1 on The Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants List, and from #42 to #14 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurant’s List.
At the height of his success, he left Astrid & Gastón to take a year off to travel the world in search of inspiration, culinary exchange and a deep learning on local produce and sustainability, working with chefs and crews from different backgrounds and heritages. In 2017 he will be setting the path for his 111 Peruvian Bistro in Miami that quietly opened last year with an informal high-end progressive menu, while opening a restaurant, Cantina Peruana, in Lisbon with Portuguese chef and great friend José Avillez, a gourmet sandwich bar and a food truck in Lima.
13th April 2017 – Belmond appoints world renowned Creative Chef and ambassador of Peruvian cuisine, Diego Muñoz as Executive Chef for South America’s first luxury sleeper train, Belmond Andean Explorer – launching in Peru on 4th May 2017. Guests will soar to new culinary heights, as they sample Muñoz’s distinctive regional cuisine, inspired by the journey through the Peruvian Andes, from the comfort of elegant dining carriages that travel along at altitudes of up to 4,800 metres on route from Cusco to Arequipa.
A menu inspired by Peru
As a curious collaborator, Muñoz has worked closely with Sous Chef Carlos Risco and the team at Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco, to create daily menus that best showcase the flavours of traditional Peruvian ingredients. Simple regionally sourced produce, such as, fresh fish from the Moquegua coast, trout from Lake Arapa (located in the Puno region), broad beans and lemons from Cusco, mushrooms, beets and corn from the Sacred Valley, Peruvian native potatoes, and quinoa from the Altiplano are transformed into sensational mouthwatering dishes. Dishes that carry Muñoz’s signature style, include, Alpaca Tortellini, Banana and Pisco Tatin, Arequipean Paw Paw Mostarda and Lima Bean Cappuccino.
Creative collaboration inspires homecoming
Having gained global recognition as Head Chef of Astrid & GastÓn, Lima, before dedicating 2016 to gastronomy-globetrotting, this role marks a return to his beloved home country and an opportunity to shine the spotlight on locally produced heritage ingredients. With a shared history for pioneering travel and culinary exploration in Peru, Belmond and Muñoz’s collaboration ensures the food on board is at the heart of the travel adventure and inspires further intrigue of the destination.
Table talk from Diego Muñoz
Despite being kept busy with a new restaurant opening in Lisbon with Chef José Avillez, the role was a challenge not to be missed for this free-spirited chef. He says, “Collaborating with Belmond on this project is truly thrilling and completely new for me. I cannot imagine a more interesting way to introduce Peruvian cuisine to the global traveler than on the stunning Belmond Andean Explorer. My hope is that the flavours of my dishes stay with guests long after their journey, bringing them the same joy they would experience from a beautiful sunset or a view from their cabin window.”