LIMA is a representation of the gastronomic expansion that has taken place in Peru during the last few years, with the idea of showcasing Lima to London, as the gastronomic capital of the Americas.
Peruvian cuisine is a melting pot of different cultures which have come together to form a unique blend of flavours and techniques. With the arrival of European and Asian immigrants centuries ago, their ingredients and customs intertwined over the decades with those of the locals, creating what is known as Peruvian cuisine: one of the fastest growing gastronomic movements today.
LIMA is the creation of world-renowned Peruvian chef, Virgilio Martinez and his partners, Gabriel & José-Luis Gonzalez. Robert Ortiz, Virgilio’s longtime friend, runs the kitchen.
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Meet Our Team
Virgilio’s formation has been from the kitchens of New York’s legendary Lutece, to the Ritz in London, before heading the kitchen at Astrid y Gastón in Madrid. He has also lived in South East Asia where he has worked with prestigious chefs, and has also extensively travelled unknown areas of his native Peru. In 2010 he opened his critically acclaimed Central Restaurante, which is ranked #4 of San Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants in the World and #1 of the Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants. Virgilio is also a decent (and former competition) skateboarder.
Robert is the head chef of LIMA. A Peruvian national, he grew up in the Amazon region of the country. His culinary career started in the Peruvian capital and has taken him through some of London’s top kitchens – in one of which he met and worked with Virgilio, eventually leading to collaboration on the LIMA project. He is thrilled to be able to bring some of the exciting flavours, colours and gastronomic developments of his native land to a European audience.
Gabriel, co-founder and MD, obtained an MBA in HEC, Paris and has extensive experience in the international marketing arena. His true passions are gastronomy and traveling. On his first visit to the Peru, inspired by the food he decided with his brother José-Luis and Virgilio that these unique flavours had to be showcased in London. He recently started his career as an entrepreneur, launching Lima as his first venture where he is the partner responsible for commercial and marketing.
José-Luis obtained a BA in Business Administration in his native Venezuela and a MSc in Finance from the London Business School in 2005. He held senior investment positions over the last 11 years in London before co-founding Lima in 2012. He left the City in 2015 to head up financial and legal matters for the group. Away from the restaurant, he is a keen sportsman and particularly enjoys climbing, running and skiing.
Sandy is a cousin by marriage of the Gonzalez brothers. His early career was in UK food and drink marketing consulting. He joined advertising group WPP in 2004 where he established and ran for 10 years a specialist international data consulting unit. He joined Lima in 2014 as the partner responsible for HR and operations. He is a keen (if unaccomplished!) cook and can be found at home in Argyll or Marbella during holidays.
Press and Awards
Lima was first awarded a Michelin star in September 2013 and has retained this recognition in the two subsequent years.
“One of the arresting qualities of dishes at Lima is their beauty — due to a vivid use of natural colours.”
“Joy! A lovely new restaurant where the food is great, the service friendly and the cocktails divine. Welcome to London, Lima.”