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Virgilio Martínez is the chef/owner of Central, a restaurant in Lima, Peru that currently sits at number four on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. After a decade spent cooking in kitchens around the world, Martínez only found his true identity as a chef when he began exploring the different regions of his native Peru, from the ocean to the Andes. While some chefs are obsessed with a 'sense of place,' Martínez strives to offer his guests a sense of many places — entire ecosystems over the course of a tasting menu.
Martínez always had an adventurous spirit, but growing up in Peru during the 70s and ‘80s meant that many parts of the country were closed off to him. As a teenager, he learned that pursuing a career in the kitchen would allow him the freedom to travel all over the world. The chef ended in charge of a restaurant in Madrid. This is really where Virgilio started to develop his experimental style. Martínez decided to leave Spain to go and work on opening his own restaurant in Peru. He decided to explore the idea of cooking dishes based on altitudes and ecosystems. Martínez runs Central’s kitchen with his wife, Pia León. They developed the altitude-based menu concept together. Martínez’s sister, Malena, has a science background, so he brought her on as part of the team to explore different terrains in search of ingredients that they could use at the restaurant. Virgilio remarks: 'We use 180 ingredients, and 50 percent of them are unknown.' The altitude-themed tasting menu was introduced in 2012, and the following year, Central landed at the bottom of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Two years later, it soared to number four.
Meet Tim Raue, the lauded German chef who went from gang life to fine dining. After leaving the streets, he defied all odds with explosive creativity, but also the knack for running several lucrative restaurants. For a high school dropout once told he could only be a house painter, gardener, or cook, it's a culinary story that does seem to be written in the Michelin stars.
Ivan Orkin, the brash, white, Jewish guy from New York who made his name as one of the best ramen makers on the planet has an unorthodox story. That means no tweezer food, plenty of swear words, no slow shots of the chef communing with nature. He was a problem child, fell in love with Japan, fell in love with cooking, suffered personal tragedy, and found his reason for being and his ultimate success in Tokyo.
In the heart of America's opioid epidemic, four men attempt to reinvent their lives and reenter society sober after years of drug abuse. Recovery Boys, from director Elaine McMillion Sheldon, is an intimate look at the strength, brotherhood, and courage that it takes to overcome addiction and lays bare the internal conflict of recovery and the external hurdles of an unforgiving society.
Nancy Silverton describes her life path involving both Los Angeles and Italy, her family and her obsession with bread. She was born in Sherman Oaks, CA in a family where going out to eat was considered a special treat. But when she entered college and found herself 'very attracted by a handsome man' who worked in a kitchen, she landed herself a job and a new passion.
These details, which all lead up to her stint at Wolfgang Puck’s celebrated LA restaurant Spago in 1982, are intercut with present-day scenes of Silverton working at Osteria Mozza.
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