The Belmond Andean Explorer sets off on its inaugural passenger journey from Cusco to Arequipa via Lake Titicaca on 4 May 2017, across a two night/three day ‘Peruvian Highlands’ itinerary priced at $1,440 per person, fully inclusive of all meals, an open bar and scheduled excursions, including visits to archaeological Inca site of Raqchi and the ancient Sumbay Caves.
Belmond has appointed world renowned creative chef and ambassador of Peruvian cuisine, Diego Muñoz, as executive chef for South America’s first luxury sleeper train. Guests can delight in Muñoz’s distinctive regional cuisine, inspired by the journey through the Peruvian Andes, from the comfort of elegant dining carriages that travel along at altitudes of up to 4,800 metres, en route from Cusco to Arequipa.
Muñoz has worked closely with sous chef Carlos Risco and the team at Belmond Hotel Monasterio in Cusco, to create daily menus that best showcase the flavours of traditional Peruvian ingredients. Simple regionally sourced produce, such as fresh fish from the Moquegua coast, trout from Lake Arapa (located in the Puno region), broad beans and lemons from Cusco, mushrooms, beets and corn from the Sacred Valley, Peruvian native potatoes, and quinoa from the Altiplano are transformed into sensational mouthwatering dishes. Dishes that carry Muñoz’s signature style, include, Alpaca Tortellini, Banana and Pisco Tatin, Arequipean Paw Paw Mostarda and Lima Bean Cappuccino.
Widely renowned as one of the world’s most talented and creative chefs, Diego Muñoz belongs to the new generation of chefs promoting the spread of Peruvian cuisine and South American heritage around the world. After training at Le Cordon Bleu in Canada and Paris, Diego was awarded with “Le Grande Diplôme” distinction before working at the famed Mugaritz and El Bulli restaurants under the lead of Andoni Luis Aduriz and Ferrán Adriá. He then moved to Australia to revitalise the kitchen of Bilson’s. After 15 years abroad, he returned to his hometown, filling the huge shoes of Gastón Acurio – the legendary chef and restaurateur considered as the “Godfather of Peruvian cuisine”. During the four years leading Astrid & Gastón, he took the restaurant to #1 on The Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants List, and from #42 to #14 on The World’s 50 Best Restaurant’s List.
In 2017 he will be setting the path for his 111 Peruvian Bistro in Miami that quietly opened last year with an informal high-end progressive menu, while opening a restaurant, Cantina Peruana, in Lisbon with Portuguese chef and great friend José Avillez, a gourmet sandwich bar and a food truck in Lima.
Muñoz will regularly join the Belmond Andean Explorer crew as guest Executive Chef.
IMAGE: Diego Muñoz in El Mercado Viena/Leonardo Ramirez