2 minutes with Pia Leon
Restaurant: Kjolle (pronounced koy-ey)
Lives: Lima, Peru
Tell us about Kjolle, what's your vision for the restaurant?
Kjolle is about biodiversity but in a language of its own. As in Central (ranked #5 on World’s 50 Best list), creativity develops with Mater Iniciativa’s knowledge as a starting point. We aim to invite guests to be part of a journey through ingredients all over Peru.
Will you be working alongside Malena Martinez from Mater Iniciativa (@mater.in), as you did at Central?
Yes, our entire menu is made only with Peruvian ingredients. We get inspired by the biodiversity of Peru, as we know the potential each region has. The different products Mater Iniciativa provides us are our daily inspirations for our changing menu.
What are your favourite ingredients you are working with at the moment?
The Oca. An Andean tuber we get from farmers communities in Cusco. Its sweetness and versatility are the main reasons why it is such an incredible item. It works in savoury dishes as in desserts
What's been the biggest challenge in opening the restaurant?
Our kitchen is about the product. The most difficult part is definitely the availability of the ingredients since we work with many small producers in different areas.
Tell us about the garden you have planted, what are you growing for the menu?
We have a variety of aromatics and herbs for infusions: paico, chincho, muña, ortiga, pampa oregano, among others. We have a welcoming infusion that changes everyday and that may include some of the herbs and eventually a seasonal fruit (like ayrampo).
24 hours in Lima, where do we eat?
Wake up early in the morning and start with a delicious pan con pejerrey at Isolina in the bohemian neighborhood of Barranco. Walk along the malecon de la reserva and go straight to Miraflores La mar street, where you can find the famous cevicheria La Mar end enjoy camarones with the inevitable ceviche. In the afternoon, to keep you awake, take some good coffee at Neira café. To finish your day with some good cocktails, visit Hotel B and order pisco sours.
You can follow Pia on Instagram @pialeonkjolle and Kjolle restaurant @kjollerest