Singapore is fast establishing itself as a global gourmet destination. 

Hot on the heels of recent culinary residences in Singapore comes the latest pop-up featuring powerhouse husband-and-wife duo, Virgilio Martinez and Pía León. The celebrated chefs will be running an exclusive residence in Singapore from 5 August to 30 October 2022.

The collaboration with Mandala Masters comes hot on the heels of two successful residencies in Singapore, namely Mirazur by Mauro Colagreco and most recently, Gaggan Anand.

For the uninitiated, the duo is behind famed Peruvian restaurants Central, Kjolle, and MIL. Michelin-starred Central, in particular, currently ranks fourth in the world and has maintained the status of Greatest Latin America’s Best Restaurant from 2013 to 2021. They will be presenting multi-course tasting menus of completely new dishes have been developed exclusively for the MASL (Meters Above Sea Level) pop-up in order to present the chefs’ signature interpretation of Peru’s vastly biodiverse landscapes and ecosystems to Singapore.  

Chef Martínez says, “To us, meters above sea level refers to the way we connect with the environment in Peru. Bisected by a major mountain range, Peru’s unique geography requires us to look at the world vertically in order to access the origin of thousands of our ingredients.” He continues, “The idea of going up and down helps us look attentively where products originate and from whose hands. Only then can we use this knowledge in a way that educates and surprises our guests.”

Chef León, who was also voted Number 1 on Latin America’s Best Female Chef in 2019, and World’s Best Female Chef in 2021 adds, “People are looking for experiences that surprise but also transcend. An interesting culinary experience should be new but also complete, multifaceted and presented with the elements to make the story behind it cohesive and meaningful.” She adds, “We came together to make MASL feel like our house, our hands, our joint teams from Central and Kjolle.”

Unlike previous residencies, the MASL pop-up will be the first Mandala Masters event outside of Mandala Club, and will be hosted at Art at National Gallery Singapore. As for the food, the dishes won’t be named — rather they’ll be listed according to the altitude, as an ode to Peru’s vastly biodiverse landscape and positioning as one of the most diverse countries in the world when it comes to microclimates.

From oceans deep below comes squid, caviar, abalone, scallops, spirulina and uni, and the ingredient list climbs above ground with corn, kiwicha (amaranth) and cancha before reaching a new “high” with native tuber, clay and high altitude leaves. Other lesser-known ingredients that will be spotlighted on the menu include huacatay (black mint), Andean mushrooms and a vast selection of exotic tubers from various altitudes, namely maca, yacon root and cassava.

The MASL Residency at Art at National Gallery Singapore will run from 5 August 2022 – 30 October 2022, serving both lunch and dinner service from Tuesday – Sunday. Lunch (8-Course, Wednesday to Sunday) and dinner (11-Course, Tuesday to Sunday) will be priced at S$320++ and S$448++ respectively.  Cocktail and wine pairing is available from S$169++ to S$250++.

Ticket sales for members start on 29 June, while non-members who sign for priority access to the pre-launch ticket window can purchase tickets on 5 July, 24 hours in advance of general public release. The sale will officially be released to the public on 6 July. For more information on Virgilio Martinez and Pía León’s upcoming residence in Singapore,  head to the website here.

This story was first published on Lifestyle Asia Singapore

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