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‘Virgilio,’ a Profile of One of World’s Best Restaurants, Closes San Sebastian’s Culinary Zinema

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Anna Marie de la Fuente Wrapping San Sebastian’s Culinary Zinema sidebar Sept. 23, Alfred Oliveri’s “Virgilio” tracks chef Virgilio Martinez, the genius behind one of the world’s top restaurants, Central, in Lima.

Doc traces how the 45-year-old chef decides to embark on an expedition through the length and breadth of his native Peru to investigate the origins of its ingredients in the context of its culture, its history and the richness of its lands.

This experience changes him and his view of gastronomy. He replaces Central’s traditional menu with its now acclaimed tasting menu which transports the diner through a multiple-dish culinary experience that begins with ingredients found below sea level to Peru’s Amazon, its coastal foothills, its high valleys and Andean peaks.

More than a culinary experience, it’s a journey through Peru, its varied altitudes and terrains. “I’ve set out to make films not just about gastronomy but about the land, the culture, the politics and the identity that shapes a chef and his cuisine,” said Oliveri whose production company, House of Chef, has produced a handful of similarly themed docs, two of which have premiered at San Sebastian.

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