Virgilio Martínez Véliz was born in Peru on August 31st, 1977. He is considered one of the new generation of Peruvian chefs promoting the spread of Peruvian cuisine and is particularly known for his use of applying modern cooking techniques to indigenous Peruvian ingredients.
Marie Claire magazine calls him “the new star in Lima’s gastro sky.”
In June 2012 he opened Senzo, a project in partnership with Orient-Express Hotels, located in the Palacio Nazarenas Hotel in the city of Cuzco. In July 2012, he founded Lima, a modern Peruvian-style restaurant located in London’s Fitzrovia district.
On April 29th, 2013, his flagship restaurant, Central, enters The World’s 50 Best Restaurants by British Restaurant magazine, ranking 50th. In 2014, the restaurant jumps to the 15th position, winning the “Highest Climber” award, and later that year, it is named the best restaurant in Latin America. He thus also obtained the prestigious Michelin Guide’s recognition, which awarded him a Star, and, also in 2014, he opened a second restaurant in Lima, in London’s Covent Garden district, nicknamed Lima Floral.
On March 5th, 2017, Chef Martinez opens a third restaurant in Dubai, at Citywalk Phase 2.
In 2023, Central wins The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, ranking as the best restaurant in the world.