José del Castillo

Credits Brambilla-Serrani

Credits Brambilla-Serrani


Av. San Martín 101, Barranco
Lima, Perù
+51 247 5075

Born in Lima in 1972, Peruvian chef Josè del Castillo is quite atypical for someone who comes from the country with the greatest culinary fame in Latin America. It’s not just because when he was young, he studied communication and wanted to become a journalist. On top of that, right when the Nueva Cocina Peruviana was exploding, basing itself on the creative interpretation and the scientific research of its incredible biodiversity and food heritage, he decided to focus on the rediscovery of tradition.

It was his mother, Isolina, who passed on to him its value, a cook and patron by necessity – she had to raise 4 children, of whom Josè is the only one who followed her footsteps– and by passion. In 1981 she opened cevicheria La Red in San Miguel where Del Castillo took his first steps as cocinero and learnt the secrets of the famous marinated fish. Once he decided he would manage the place, to complete his training in 1999 he decided to do a short internship in the kitchen, with his mother. He never left the kitchen since. In 2001 he took over, and then opened a second location in 2009. To his mastery in preparing the emblem-dish of Peruvian cuisine, he gradually added his personality and a wider interest in criollacuisine, the result of the fusion between local tradition and products and African influences.

In 2015 he opened Isolina Taberna Peruana – dedicated to his mother – in the heart of Barranco, the Bohemian neighbourhood in Lima. He had a precise idea: he wanted to give value to the typical cuisine of Lima, made of long cooking, intense flavours, poor ingredients like offal and based on the idea of sharing, starting from family recipes interpreted with the wisdom of modern technique, but without betraying their original flavours.

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Luciana Squadrilli

a journalist born in Naples now living in Rome, she tries to make her three passions meet: eating, travelling and writing