Famed Peruvian chef couple Virgilio Martinez and Pia Leon of Central to run three-month residency in S'pore

Virgilio Martinez and his wife Pia Leon will be in town to helm the members-only Mandala Club's next residency. PHOTO: COURTESY OF KEN MOTOHASI

SINGAPORE - Mark your calendar for the next high profile chef pop-up.

Peruvian powerhouse chef couple Virgilio Martinez and his wife Pia Leon will be in town to helm the members-only Mandala Club's next residency.

It runs from Aug 5 to Oct 30 at a separate host venue - one-Michelin-starred Art restaurant at the National Gallery Singapore.

The chefs will present an entirely new dining experience called Meters Above Sea Level (MASL) - marking the first time the dynamic duo are coming together to collaborate on a project outside of Peru.

Their flagship restaurant - Central in Peru - is No. 4 on The World's 50 Best Restaurants list and held the title of the Greatest Restaurant in Latin America from 2013 to 2021.

They also run Kjolle and the remotely located MIL restaurant.

Multi-course tasting menus featuring new dishes have been developed exclusively for MASL, in order to present the couple's signature interpretation of Peru's vastly biodiverse landscapes and ecosystems to Singapore.

Prices start at $320++ for an eight-course lunch (Wednesdays to Sundays) and  $448++ for an 11-course dinner (Tuesdays to Sundays).

Priority booking for Mandala Club members starts today (June 29) at this website. Non-members can sign up for priority access to the pre-launch ticket window which opens on July 5, 24 hours in advance of the general public release on July 6.

Many of the ingredients featured are sourced by the chefs across diverse terrains and demanding altitudes.

The dishes will not have conventional names. Instead, they are listed according to the altitude at which the ingredients are found - ranging from 10 to 3,850 masl (metres above sea level).

For example, corn, amaranth and cancha (large-kernel corn) will come in at 3,550 masl.

A journey down to 185 masl features Amazonian nut and squash. The menu peaks at 3,850 masl with a presentation of native tuber, clay and high altitude leaves.

Martinez says: "To us, meters above sea level refers to the way we connect with the environment in Peru. Bisected by a major mountain range, Peru's unique geography requires us to look at the world vertically in order to access the origin of thousands of our ingredients.

"The idea of going up and down helps us look attentively at where products originate and from whose hands. Only then can we use this knowledge in a way that educates and surprises our guests."

Chef couple Virgilio Martinez and his wife Pia Leon run the remotely located MIL restaurant. PHOTO: GUSTAVO VLVANCO

MASL's residency comes on the back of the pop-ups by three-Michelin-starred French restaurant Mirazur and acclaimed Kolkata-born chef Gaggan Anand at Mandala Club.

It also adds to the slew of recent pop-ups by guest chefs.

The month-long pop-up for three-Michelin-starred SingleThread restaurant from California's Sonoma Wine County starts on July 1 at host restaurant Basque Kitchen by Aitor at The Fullerton Waterboat House.

From July 19 to 22, Shangri-La Singapore is bringing back Sri Lanka's popular Ministry of Crab restaurant, ranked No. 35 on the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list.

Correction note: An earlier version of this article said that Central in Peru holds three Michelin stars. This is incorrect. We are sorry for the error.

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