Palacio Nazarenas, A Belmond Hotel, Cusco, is delighted to announce the appointment of internationally acclaimed chef and 2021 World’s Best Female Chef, Pía León as Culinary Director of her new restaurant, Mauka.
A Celebration of Hyper-Local Biodiversity
Named after an endangered Incan root vegetable, Mauka is an ode to the bounty of Cusquenian cuisine and its diverse produce, from the Andean mountains to the Amazon rainforest. At its core, Pía’s vision is to preserve Peruvian culture, transcending local gastronomy, curating moments to learn and experience the true root and origin of Andean cuisine.
Together with local farmers and artisans, Pía and her team continue her culinary legacy, incorporating Cusco’s history and biodiversity into the restaurant’s DNA, with menu items such as grains from the Andean plateau with pumpkin cream and beef cheek cooked at a low temperature, Urubamba giant corn, Pampa yuyo and smoked caiguas.
Weaving past, present, and future, the menu curates unforgettable culinary experiences at the heart of the once capital of the Incan empire, using distinctive flavours from forgotten tropical and mountainous crops.
“Through my work, I aim to preserve and showcase the megadiversity of my country,” she says. “I am thrilled to share my vision in Cusco at Palacio Nazarenas. Each region has its own ingredients, with different tones and nuances, providing a clear identity and history. Mauka continues in the same vein, representing the natural meeting of Peruvian art, biodiversity, and cuisine.” says Pía León.
To accompany the dishes, a curated list of wines has been selected from local high-altitude vineyards. Cocktails are made with distillates developed by Mater, which aims to explore, register, and interpret Peruvian megadiversity.
These include Q ́aqe, a bitter made with 26 herbs and roots and foraged at 4,000 MASL (metres above sea level), and an Amazonian Spirit, made with a selection of fruits and botanicals from the local rainforest.
Natural Craft and Elegant History
Mauka’s interiors have been curated to delight the senses, taking a step closer to the local land and people who keep culinary traditions and food of provenance alive. Guests are immersed in more than just food – natural lighting enhances the Andean Lenga wood and volcanic stone finishes, while the smooth texture of natural fabrics using botanical inks by local artists.