A Passion-Fruit Marinade Straight from the New Season of Netflix’s Chef’s Table
One of our favorite shows is back—and we’ve already binge-watched all six episodes. The third season of Chef’s Table-the stunningly-shot Netflix series that takes you behind the scenes with some of the world’s most talented chefs–just might be the best one to date. And the story of Virgilio Martínez, chef/owner of Central restaurant in Lima, Peru, is certainly one of the most compelling in the bunch.
We first learned about Virgilio last fall, after getting our hands on a copy of his gorgeous cookbook, Central. In it, he describes his unique approach to food and cooking, which hinges completely on the one-of-a-kind ingredients he finds within the ecosystems that exist at varying altitudes and locations across Peru. He creates 11-course and 16-course tasting menus that reflect the country’s astonishingly diverse (Peru’s highest point is 22,205 feet and it’s lowest point is -112 feet) flora and fauna. Reading about his foraging expeditions was one thing, but watching Virgilio scoop perfect green balls of algae from a lagoon in the Andes or harvest red corn called “culie” with a farmer in the countryside is even more intense.
We’re dying to eat at Central, but while we wait for schedules to magically clear and bank accounts to miraculously rise, we asked Virgilio to share a favorite, classic-Peruvian recipe with us. His passion-fruit leche de tigre (a marinade and sauce traditionally used for ceviche but also great in salads and even cocktails) is refreshing, bright, and just a little bit sweet. Bonus: all of the ingredients can be easily found at a grocery store and the only tool you need is a blender.
Leche de tigre is a classic Peruvian sauce used to make ceviche. Chef Virgilio’s version is bright, vegetal, and thanks to the addition of passion fruit, just a little bit sweet. Perfect tossed with quickly-cooked fish or shellfish for ceviche, we discovered it also makes a refreshing salad dressing.